How to lose weight without dieting or exercise (seven weight loss strategies for 2021)

People are looking for easier ways to lose weight, and for many, exercise is painful, either due to a medical condition, or an injury. For those with certain preexisting conditions, exercise is not an option until they lose weight, their body is healed, or their pain level is reduced.

People have more challenges with dieting because that requires a mental adjustment, omitting or eliminating the foods they enjoy, preparing homemade meals when they are exhausted from work and don’t have the energy or time to make breakfast, lunch and dinner from scratch. Dieting means spending more money on healthy foods, when you may not have the means to do so, especially now since so many people have lost their jobs, or have been forced by their employers to take a pay cut.

Is it possible to lose weight, get rid of excess belly fat, reduce hip rolls and slim thunder thighs, without dieting or exercise? The answer to that question is yes, but you’ll still need to make changes. Results don’t happen without action. Keep reading, or scroll to the bottom of this post to watch the video I created on this subject.

Here’s seven effective weight loss strategies that don’t require exercise or adjustments to your diet (although, I’m a big proponent of both for a healthy body).

7 weight loss strategies without dieting or exercise

  • Don’t use any products that contain parabens. Parabens are used in products as preservatives. They are found in hair sprays, cosmetics, lotions, shampoo, hair gels, and shaving cream, to name a few. Parabens are endocrine disruptors and are classified as obesogens. They damage our cells, and one of the side effects is they make us fat. Read the product labels and look for words that contain “paraben.” Throw those products away and replace them with products that are paraben-free.
  • Don’t use any products that contain perfume, parfum, or fragrances. Scented products are a combination of chemicals. If you are constantly putting chemicals into your body, via either through the nose, such as breathing it in, eating it, or putting chemicals on your skin, those chemicals get absorbed. Our liver metabolizes fat, but the liver prioritizes removing harmful items first. So, if you keep putting poison into your body, metabolizing fat is going to be on the bottom of the list. If you want to add a scent to your products, on your skin, or to your clothes, use certified organic essential oils.
  • Don’t consume any foods that contain natural flavors. Natural flavors are combinations of chemicals. The word “natural” is a sales term, it has no actual rules or regulations tied to it. The term “natural flavors” is in numerous foods, like protein powders, crackers, cookies, ice cream, to give a few examples. Manufactures create chemicals in a lab to make synthetic vanilla, because vanilla is expensive and it’s cheaper to use chemicals. They make hundreds of chemical concoctions to replicate real food for the sole purpose of saving money. The only natural flavoring that’s safe to consume is when the words “certified organic” precedes it.
  • Place your meals on smaller plates. We eat with our eyes so if we put an adequate portion of food on a large plate, we may think we’re not eating enough. In our society, we’ve been taught to fill and clean our plates. By putting our meals on smaller plates, this solves those issues. The only exemption is if you’re filling your plate with greens.
  • Don’t eat after 7pm. This is a form of intermittent fasting. At night we tend to overeat and grab sweet and salty snacks, like ice cream and chips, so if we cut off access to foods before those cravings kick in, we’re reducing calories from high fat, unhealthy foods.
  • Wait 20 minutes after a meal before eating again. Our brain takes 20 minutes to register that we are full. This is one explanation as to why people overeat. Once we feel full, it’s less likely we will keep eating.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking water helps you lose weight because water fills you up. A lot of time our bodies tell us we’re hungry, when we’re actually dehydrated. Drink water all day long, in between meals, during a meal, and at night. A good rule of thumb is to drink your weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, try to drink 150 ounces of water in a 24-hour period.

I have more effective fat loss strategies, which can be found in chapter 4 of my book The High Five Diet titled “Weight Loss Products & Treatments.”

I created a video specifically on this subject. Click the play button on the YouTube video below to watch it.

To summarize:

7 weight loss strategies without dieting or exercise

  1. Don’t use any products that contain parabens.
  2. Don’t use any products that contain perfume, parfum, or fragrances.
  3. Don’t consume any foods that contain natural flavors.
  4. Place your meals on smaller plates.
  5. Don’t eat after 7pm. This is a form of intermittent fasting.
  6. Wait 20 minutes after a meal before eating again.
  7. Stay hydrated with water by drinking your body weight in ounces, daily.

photo: me taking a selfie. I’m leaner now than the cover photo of my book because I wanted to promote a healthy weight, instead of skinny. I find it appalling and harmful that so many weight loss books and programs show ridiculously thin women as the ideal sexy look (it’s not).

P.S. This is my 859th blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content, I’ll be posting blogs once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

I don’t make any money on this platform. If you’d like to donate to my page, to cover website fees, click the PayPal link below. Any amount is welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!

How to calculate net carbs for blood sugar control & weight loss

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If you’d prefer to watch a video instead of reading this blog, scroll down to the bottom of this post to play the YouTube video

How to read nutrition labels: Nutritional labels can be confusing, but it is important to understand how to read nutritional labels when trying to discern if a food is high in calories, high in carbs, and low in fiber. To determine if a food is high in calories, look at the serving size. If one chocolate bar is four servings, and you eat the entire bar at one time, that is a high calorie treat. Pay attention to the serving size because that is the amount, you’re supposed to limit yourself to. One way to lose weight, is to limit portions to the serving size listed on the box or package.

Carbs contain calories, and excess carbs lead to weight gain and higher blood sugars. To figure out how many carbohydrates are in a single serving, you want to tabulate the net carbs to get the true number of carbs you’re absorbing that add to your waistline.

How to count net carbs: To calculate the net carbs in a serving, look at the total carbohydrates, also known as gross carbs. Next, look at the number of grams of fiber. Now that you know the grams of gross carbs and fiber content, subtract the fiber from the total/gross carbs to get the net carbs. For example, on the nutritional label on the oats I have at home, the total carbohydrates are 27 grams. The dietary fiber is 4 grams.

  1. Total carbohydrates (gross carbs): 27 grams
  2. Minus – dietary fiber: 4 grams
  3. = 23 grams of net carbs (27 – 4 = 23 net carbs)

Why is fiber important & why it’s not counted: The reason fiber is subtracted from the carb count, is because carbs from fiber do not impact blood sugar, don’t add any calories, and gets removed from our body. Fiber is a zero-calorie whole-food ingredient. The minimum amount of fiber goal you want to shoot for is 25 grams per day, spread throughout the day. Fiber is like a magic broom, it cleans the gunk out of our bodies. Fiber cleans out bacteria, reduces cancer risk, helps you poop, improves gut microbiota, and aids in weight loss.

How does whole foods help with weight loss? Eating whole foods with fiber, like whole grains (not bread, which is not from whole grains even if it says so, because the grain is pulverized, and the outer kernel removed) keeps you fuller longer and helps you eat less, which is why whole grains are wonderful foods for weight loss. Eat whole grains, such as quinoa and groats, paired with additional vegan protein sources such as beans or tofu, plus healthy whole food fats like nuts and seeds blunt glucose (sugar) spikes. High spikes in blood sugar might give you an energy boost initially, but then you’ll probably end up with an energy crash, where you have a sudden urge to take a nap.

Why do diabetics have to know how to count carbs? While you may not be in the category of someone that needs to lose weight or needs to consume more fiber, calculating net carbs is essential for diabetics when tabulating how much insulin to take. If a diabetic injects insulin based on gross carbs instead of net carbs, blood sugars may go too low, which can be dangerous, and even deadly. As a type-1 diabetic, knowing the net carbs, and measuring or weighing carbs, is how I lost weight and manage my blood sugars.

Watch the YouTube video below on this topic

P.S. This is my 858th blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content, I’ll be posting blogs once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

If you’d like to donate to my page, to cover website fees, click the PayPal link below. Any amount is welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!

What are Instagram’s new terms of service? Should I delete the Instagram app?

Instagram’s alarming new spying terms of service are so outrageous, it’s making news and people are deleting the app. On Instagram and YouTube, I watched videos which claimed that Instagram is reading our text messages, storing and sharing our personal information worldwide, looking at all our photos, spying on us though our camara lenses, tracking our location, watching where we go on the web, capturing our our credit card numbers and addresses, and that’s just a few of the privacy concerns. After hearing this, I deleted the Instagram (IG) app off my phone as a precaution, which doesn’t delete the data from Instagram, the app is just no longer on my iPhone.

If you’d prefer to watch a short video I made on this, scroll to the bottom of this post to play the YouTube video I created on this subject.

I have been using Instagram to share photos of my pet, provide exercise tips and motivation and to encourage people to eat healthier and move more. I also use Instagram to keep in touch with friends, to find new recipes, and to see the latest fashion and make-up tips.

I wanted to make sure that the rumors were true before I deleted all the photos and videos I uploaded over the past six years, because some of the videos took over an hour to create, and I spent a lot of time making my pages look good. Once your Instagram account is deleted, the photos and videos you upload cannot be retrieved after 30 days, but you can reinstall the app after it’s been deleted.

Instead of trusting articles on the subject, I went right to the source and read Instagram’s new terms of service, dated December 20, 2020, which can be found at

To be honest, it’s not easy reading, there’s a lot of legalese. I spent additional time trying to “read between the lines” to understand what it meant in practice. On the “terms of use” page, there links to many pages, and some pages, like the terms of service and data info, is quite lengthy, which makes it more difficult to read all the terms (that may have been the point: to confuse us and to make sure we don’t know all the insidious things they are trying to hide from us). 

While I am not a lawyer, my interpretation of certain sections, in summary, are in red below. I’ve included the exact verbiage from the terms of service on-line from Facebook (source links are provided), so you can make your own assessment, if you’d like.

You cannot sue Instagram (IG):


IG shares your information with law enforcement on what they may deem “misuse,” whatever that means.

“We also may share information about misuse or harmful content with other Facebook Companies or law enforcement.” (1).

While I give the green light to sharing information on social media with law enforcement if it’s going save a life, property, animals or the environment (like if someone sets a mountain on fire), it shouldn’t be used to prosecute someone for a petty crime like smoking marijuana in a state where it’s not legal.

IG shares your information across other platforms and apps

“Instagram is part of the Facebook Companies, which share technology, systems, insights, and information-including the information we have about you” 

“The Facebook Products include Facebook (including the Facebook mobile app and in-app browser), Messenger, Instagram (including apps like Boomerang), Portal-branded devices, Oculus Products (when using a Facebook account), Facebook Shops, Spark AR Studio, Audience Network, NPE Team apps and any other features, apps, technologies, software, products, or services offered by Facebook Inc. or Facebook Ireland Limited under our Data Policy. The Facebook Products also include Facebook Business Tools” (3).

IG transfers your personal info around the world, and stores it

“To operate our global Service, we must store and transfer data across our systems around the world, including outside of your country of residence” (1).

“We share information globally, both internally within the Facebook Companies, and externally with our partners and with those you connect and share with around the world in accordance with this policy. Your information may, for example, be transferred or transmitted to, or stored and processed in the United States or other countries outside of where you live for the purposes as described in this policy” (2).

Why is IG doing this? They claim its “…to show you ads, offers, and other sponsored content that we believe will be meaningful to you.” How is storing our personal info and sharing it helpful to us? It’s not! It’s helpful to them and, potentially harmful to use.

IG states:

“We don’t share information that directly identifies you (information such as your name or email address that by itself can be used to contact you or identifies who you are) unless you give us specific permission.” (1).

But, aren’t we giving them permission by using the app?

IG can do anything they want with your photos, videos, etc.

“When you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos or videos) on or in connection with our Service, you hereby grant to us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings). This license will end when your content is deleted from our systems. You can delete content individually or all at once by deleting your account” (1).

IG can change your username

“If you select a username or similar identifier for your account, we may change it if we believe it is appropriate or necessary (for example, if it infringes someone’s intellectual property or impersonates another user”  (1).

IG won’t guarantee that your personal information be kept safe or secure, thus shirking all responsibility:

Our Service is provided “as is,” and we can’t guarantee it will be safe and secure or will work perfectly all the time. (1).

Here’s where it gets super creepy. They are admitting to collecting our communications with other people, so when you send or receive a DM, direct message or private message, it’s not really private because they are saving that info, and they are keeping notes where you were (location) when a photo was taken, and even see through your phone camera: (2). Source: Data Policy | Instagram Help Center

“We collect the content, communications and other information you provide when you use our Products, including when you sign up for an account, create or share content, and message or communicate with others. This can include information in or about the content you provide (like metadata), such as the location of a photo or the date a file was created. It can also include what you see through features we provide, such as our camera, so we can do things like suggest masks and filters that you might like, or give you tips on using camera formats (2). Source: Data Policy | Instagram Help Center

If you’ve provided information on your race, health or political views, that info might be shared and distributed, depending on the laws in your country:

“You can choose to provide information in your Facebook profile fields or Life Events about your religious views, political views, who you are “interested in,” or your health. This and other information (such as racial or ethnic origin, philosophical beliefs or trade union membership) could be subject to special protections under the laws of your country.” (2).

IG keeps and accesses who you call, all your text messages (also referred to as SMS log or short message service (4), your contacts, which means your friends, family, co-workers names, emails, phone numbers, any information you’ve entered in your contacts:

“We also collect contact information if you choose to upload, sync or import it from a device (such as an address book or call log or SMS log history), which we use for things like helping you and others find people you may know and for the other purposes listed below” (2).

IG is collecting and saving our credit card information, our address, and what we buy on the platform:

“If you use our Products for purchases (through Facebook pay) or other financial transactions (such as when you make a purchase in a game or make a donation), we collect information about the purchase or transaction. This includes payment information, such as your credit or debit card number and other card information; other account and authentication information; and billing, shipping and contact details.”

(3) Source: Payments | Facebook Help Center

And it gets worse, they are taking info from not just our cell phones, but also our computers, TVs, ipads, what software and hardware we use, device IDs, GPS location (where we are physically), cell phone #, to collect even more information about us:

”As described below, we collect information from and about the computers, phones, connected TVs and other web-connected devices you use that integrate with our Products, and we combine this information across different devices you use. For example, we use information collected about your use of our Products on your phone to better personalize the content (including ads) or features you see when you use our Products on another device, such as your laptop or tablet, or to measure whether you took an action in response to an ad we showed you on your phone on a different device.” (2).

“Information we obtain from these devices includes:

  • Device attributes: information such as the operating system, hardware and software versions, battery level, signal strength, available storage space, browser type, app and file names and types, and plugins.
  • Device operations: information about operations and behaviors performed on the device, such as whether a window is foregrounded or backgrounded, or mouse movements (which can help distinguish humans from bots).
  • Identifiers: unique identifiers, device IDs, and other identifiers, such as from games, apps or accounts you use, and Family Device IDs (or other identifiers unique to Facebook Company Products associated with the same device or account).
  • Device signals: Bluetooth signals, and information about nearby Wi-Fi access points, beacons, and cell towers.
  • Data from device settings: information you allow us to receive through device settings you turn on, such as access to your GPS location, camera or photos.
  • Network and connections: information such as the name of your mobile operator or ISP, language, time zone, mobile phone number, IP address, connection speed and, in some cases, information about other devices that are nearby or on your network, so we can do things like help you stream a video from your phone to your TV.” (2).

Third parties send Facebook and their affiliates, like Instagram, information about our purchases.

Advertisers, app developers, and publishers can send us information through Facebook Business Tools they use, including our social plug-ins (such as the Like button), Facebook Login, our APIs and SDKs, or the Facebook pixel. These partners provide information about your activities off Facebook—including information about your device, websites you visit, purchases you make, the ads you see, and how you use their services—whether or not you have a Facebook account or are logged into Facebook. For example, a game developer could use our API to tell us what games you play, or a business could tell us about a purchase you made in its store. We also receive information about your online and offline actions and purchases from third-party data providers who have the rights to provide us with your information. (2).

They are tracking and following not just were we go virtually, but physically:

Location-related information: We use location-related information-such as your current location, where you live, the places you like to go, and the businesses and people you’re near-to provide, personalize and improve our Products, including ads, for you and others. Location-related information can be based on things like precise device location (if you’ve allowed us to collect it), IP addresses, and information from your and others’ use of Facebook Products (such as check-ins or events you attend). (2).

They are keeping track of all the websites we visit, not just Facebook or Instagram:

“We use the information we have (including your activity off our Products, such as the websites you visit and ads you see) to help advertisers and other partners measure the effectiveness and distribution of their ads and services, and understand the types of people who use their services and how people interact with their websites, apps, and services” (2).

Freaked out? You can delete the app and your account.

“We store data until it is no longer necessary to provide our services and Facebook Products, or until your account is deleted – whichever comes first. This is a case-by-case determination that depends on things like the nature of the data, why it is collected and processed, and relevant legal or operational retention needs. For example, when you search for something on Facebook, you can access and delete that query from within your search history at any time, but the log of that search is deleted after 6 months. If you submit a copy of your government-issued ID for account verification purposes, we delete that copy 30 days after review, unless otherwise stated.”

“When you delete your account, we delete things you have posted, such as your photos and status updates, and you won’t be able to recover that information later. Information that others have shared about you isn’t part of your account and won’t be deleted. If you don’t want to delete your account but want to temporarily stop using the Products, you can deactivate your account instead.” (2).

Here’s a short summary of what Instagram is collecting on you:

  • IG transfers your personal info around the world, and stores it
  • IG can do anything they want with your photos, videos, etc.
  • IG won’t guarantee that your personal info be kept safe or secure, thus shirking all responsibility.
  • IG has access to text messages and your contacts, which means your friends, family, co-workers names, emails, phone numbers, any information you’ve entered in your contacts.
  • IG is collecting and saving our credit card information, our address, and what we buy on the platform.
  • They are taking info from not just our cell phones, but also our computers, TVs, iPads, what software and hardware we use, device IDs, GPS location (where we are physically), cell phone #, to collect even more information about us

Anytime you are on the internet, or even on a telephone phone, regardless of whether it’s a landline or cell phone, information about you is being collected, no matter how careful you are, but in today’s technology age, it’s practically impossible not to be connected. Due to the pandemic, a lot of us are working on our computers from home and shopping on-line, as we should be.

Here’s some steps you can take to protect your privacy:

  • Close apps running in the background. (on iPhone, press the home button quickly, twice, and swipe up to close each running app).
  • Delete search history in your web browser (ex: IE, Safari, Chrome, Edge)
  • Don’t share your location on apps or photos (you’ll have to turn this on if you want maps to help you navigate)
  • You can use Incognito mode, or private mode, in your web browser (ex: go to the web, aka the internet, click the three dots on the top right, and select the incognito option)
  • Delete the apps you don’t use (you can always re-install them). You can still access Instagram on the web at without having the app on your phone or iPad, but it’s harder to use (they did that on purpose) and you cannot delete photos or edit the text from your posts on the web.
  • Go to the privacy tab in your phone and turn off access to apps.
  • Turn off access to your mic. You can allow or block apps to have access to your microphone, but if you are not using that app to record your voice or sounds around you, the microphone access should be turned off. The same concept applies to photos.
  • Turn off, or limit access to your photos. Certain apps will need access to your photos, like if you want to make a copy of your check to deposit it into your bank account, or if you want to upload a photo to Instagram, or a video to YouTube, but you don’t have to grant access to all your photos. For those apps that you use to upload photos or videos, choose selected videos instead of “all” or “none.”
  • Don’t put your personal information anywhere on the web, if possible. Hackers use your birthday, address, schools attended, graduation date, your pet’s name, and family’s names to impersonate you, steal your money, and spread harmful information about you.

Here’s what happened 24 hours after I deleted the Instagram app and did not log onto Instagram:

  • My chronic neck pain went away (aka text neck). This makes sense because looking down for long periods of time is not healthy for the spine, neck or surrounding muscles.
  • My left upper trap (trapezius muscle) started to relax and felt less tense.
  • I no longer felt I had to capture every healthy meal, cute photo of my pet, or a workout on my photo to post later.
  • I no longer thought about hashtags (which are used as search tools)
  • I felt less stressed and happier with the way I look.
  • I had more time to do whatever.

I decided that my privacy is at risk by using Instagram, so I deleted the Instagram app and my Instagram accounts. I also deleted the Facebook messenger app.

With this new information, will you delete the Instagram app and just look at Instagram on the web? Will you delete the Instagram app and all your content? Will you change your settings? Will you delete some photos or videos? Will you be a little more careful about what you post? Will you keep using social media the same way? Let me know in the comments below and why, I’d like to hear your thoughts.

If you clarity and visuals on some tech tips, watch the video I created below, specific on this subject

P.S. This is my 857th blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content, I’ll be posting blogs once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

If you’d like to donate to my page, to cover website fees, click the PayPal link below. Any amount is welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!



2. Data Policy | Instagram Help Center


4. What’s the different between SMS vs MMS” (Aug 62020). Slick Test. Aug. 6, 2020. Blog. Available at Accessed: 1/1/2021.

Additional source:

how to get stronger hamstrings (home hamstring curls)

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I haven’t been to the gym since April and I don’t plan return to any gym until I feel safe, but I’m not putting my weight training on hold because I want sexy thighs and a cute, lifted butt. One of the machines that I don’t have in my home gym is the lying leg curl machine (or the seated leg curl machine).  While I do many deadlift, Swiss ball hamstring curl, and bridge variations, I worry I’ll lose some strength gains without some sort of hamstring curl cable challenge, so I came up with this lying leg curl hack for home use:

use a resistance band with ankle straps wrapped around a strong immovable object and climb onto a Swiss ball. This combination closely resembles a lying hamstring curl machine.

I perform 3 sets of 10-20 reps of these lying hamstring curls with the resistance bands with the ankle straps and my Swiss ball, once a week to gain hamstring strength. Two days later I’ll do hamstrings-specific exercises again, but a different type of hamstring exercise, like deadlifts, since I don’t want to do the exact same exercises more than once a week for two reasons: variety is key to making exercise fun and for strength gains.

Watch the video below to see the set up and tips. I have TheFitLife Exercise Resistance Bands with Handles, which includes 5 Fitness Workout Bands, Training Tubes with Large Handles, Ankle Straps, Door Anchor Attachment, Carry Bag. Last time I checked, it’s under $25. Here’s the link to Amazon if you want to check it out:

P.S. This is my 856th blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content, I’ll be posting blogs once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

If you’d like to donate to my page, to cover website fees, click the PayPal link below. Any amount is welcome, no matter how small. Thank you!

How to lower stress. My holiday gift to you

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Since holidays are a great source of stress and anxiety for a lot of people, I wanted to help so I created a calming video, where you’ll see some beautiful front gardens from my walks around the luxury coastal area of Del Mar, located on the west coast of Southern California, USA. Use this time to stretch, foam roll, de-stress, relax, or as a form of mediation to focus on nature’s Zen beauty to clear and calm your mind and body.

P.S. This is my 855th blog! I’ve been publishing blog posts on this platform, consistently for over seven years now. I can’t believe it’s been that long. To prevent burnout, and to provide helpful, interesting, educational, unique content I’ll be posting videos once a week from now on instead of twice a week.

How to strengthen legs without knee pain

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Knee injuries account for 15-30% of all sports injuries, so if you have knee pain, you’re not alone. Knee pain can be caused by weak muscles and/or muscle imbalances. If the muscles on the front of the leg, like the vastus lateralis or the vastus medialis is weakened, the kneecap can move outside the knee joint, causing pain (1).

Exercising should not be about weight loss, or looking a certain way, it’s main purpose is to keep you strong enough to do daily tasks with ease and without injury. For these reasons, I tell my clients to do leg specific exercises at least twice a week.

Form is key when it comes to strengthening. I see valgus knees at the gym all the time, where the knees go inwards; this is not only poor form, but makes knee pain worse. You want to push your knees outwards, also known as external rotation, when doing squats and lunges. You can place a soft yoga block in between your thighs to prevent your knees from collapsing inwards (see video at the bottom of this post).

Here’s exercises you should do, in order from easiest to hardest, to strengthen the front of the legs and stop knee pain. If you’re rehabilitating, try one set of 10 box squats daily. You eventually want to do three sets of ten, which is 30 repetitions with a break in between each set, twice a week. You can then add another type of lunge or a squat, but it’s not necessary to do more than three different types of exercises that target the quads (front leg muscles) three times a week. Take a day or two off “leg day” for rest and recovery:

Exercises to strengthen the front of the legs to stop knee pain

  1. box squats
  2. TRX squats
  3. bodyweight squats
  4. TRX static lunges
  5. TRX reverse lunges
  6. static lunges
  7. reverse lunges
  8. weighted squats
  9. weighted static lunges
  10. weighted reverse lunges

If your legs are strong, your knee pain might be from tight muscles. Tight muscles decrease flexibility and cause pain because the kneecap presses harder into the femur bone 🦴(1). Tight muscles hurt, so I stretch the muscles I’ve put through a workout, at the end of every session. Flexibility is important because you want to have full ROM (range of motion) to be able to move about freely and easily. Stretch muscles at least 30 seconds and up to two minutes, but make sure to stretch muscles that have thoroughly warmed up; cold muscles that are stretched can be torn. You don’t need to do a full leg workout if your objective is to do a quick stretch. Try twenty-five split squats in a row, on each leg, and you’ll be plenty warm.

Here’s a follow-along stretch workout that I created, just for the legs and glutes.

If stretching isn’t doing the trick, foam rolling might be what you need. Sometimes the fascia, the cheesecloth-like material that covers our muscles gets tight and bound up, so a deep tissue massage, or foam rolling is what’s needed to release it. Below is a follow-along foam roller workout for the entire body.

The exercises you don’t want to do, because they can cause knee pain, are heavy leg extensions and plyometrics (when you’re jumping).

Something that a lot of people don’t think about, is how they walk and step; you shouldn’t hear your footsteps when you’re walking, or going up or down stairs. Climbing stairs is not bad for the knees, unless you’re landing too hard, or stomping, where you’re constantly putting undue pressure onto your knees; you want to land softly.

For balanced strength, you want to strengthen all of your muscles. From working with clients, the most neglected were the posterior chain muscles (the ones on the back of the body: rear shoulders, upper back, butt, and hamstrings). Any imbalances will eventually cause pain and injuries. Below is a video that specifically targets the butt (glutes), back of the legs and the core. Click the play button to workout with me in this YouTube video.

The more weight you carry, the more pressure you’re putting on your joints, so losing weight, or lifting less weight may be all that you need to do to get rid of your knee pain.

Try these suggestions, along with cold-therapy and an anti-inflammatory, and your knee pain will improve.

To watch the exercises and hear me explain what to do and why, with additional form tips, play the YouTube video below.

Let me know if you liked this post, and write to me if you have any comments or questions.

Please share this blog post with anyone you think may like it.

  1. Source: Fahey, EdD, Thomas. Strength and Conditioning. Carpinteria: International Sports Sciences Association. 9th ed., 2018. Print. Pg. 584, 586-589.

How to grow long and strong natural nails

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You can grow your nails long and make them strong with these 12 tips:

12 tips to grow long and strong nails

1. Don’t push back your cuticles, or cut, or trim them as this can cause an infection. If your cuticles are uneven, use your fingernail to gently push the cuticle back

2. Wear gloves every time you clean. The chemicals in cleaning products are harmful to our skin, and this includes the nails and cuticles

3. Put moisturizer on your hands every time you wash them; frequent hand washing dries out hands and cuticles.

4. Remove and re-paint nail polish weekly. Polish adds a layer of protection and makes nails thicker.

5. Keep your hands out of the sun to prevent age spots. The sun also dries out the skin.

6. Take a calcium supplement nightly after dinner, which will help your nails grow stronger and faster. My nails grow so fast, I have to trim them every two weeks.

7. Use a nail polish that has fewer chemicals. I wear Pixie Dusk by Ella Mila

Another healthier nail polish brand that’s supposed to be good is Kure Bazaar which you can order from

8. Don’t use acetone to remove nail polish; this is too drying. I use Ella Mila’s soy nail polish; this healthier polish remover takes longer to remove nail polish, but it doesn’t dry out nails and doesn’t have that toxic chemical smell.

9. Keep your nails in a more of a square shape instead of pointy. It not only looks better, your nails will have a larger base and more strength with this shape.

10. File any rough edges right away to prevent snags and tearing of the nail.

11. Don’t use gels or acrylics; to remove the glue, part of your enamel gets stripped away, making your nail thinner

12. Don’t use your nails as tools. Your nails can chip if you use them to remove labels, or to push a hole in something. Use scissors instead of your nails.

You don’t need to go to a nail salon to have beautiful, manicured nails. I’ve been painting and shaping my nails for years; it saves time, money, and I don’t have to smell the chemicals wafting around the salon.

Watch the video below to see the nail polish I use, how my hands look, and what calcium I use:

How to get clear skin naturally

Everyone wants clear, unblemished skin; below are products and foods that cause blackheads, pimples, acne, flare-ups, and irritated skin.

The top five causes of breakouts:  

1. Make-up

Foundation is the probably the worst thing you can put on your face if it’s sensitive and prone to breakouts. Many cosmetics contain irritating and harmful ingredients. The ingredients in cosmetics are not regulated, and if they fall under the category of perfume, parfum or fragrance, they can include any number of harmful substances that cause damage to our skin and our DNA.

When I use foundation, which is rare, the brand that I found that doesn’t cause blemishes, is Laura Mercier’s Flawless Lumiere Radiance-Perfecting Foundation. This one-ounce bottle is pricey at $48, which I purchased from Nordstrom

Blush can also cause breakouts, just like any other cosmetic you put on your skin. If I want to add “blush” to my cheeks, I use Mac’s pink eyeshadow, which is the only powder that doesn’t cause blemishes on my cheeks.

2. Hair products

Hair spray and hair gel is sticky and can easily get on your face. Make sure to cover your face when using hair spray (see video below on the technique I use). Apply as little hair gel as possible and keep gels away from your forehead and cheeks so your hair gel doesn’t touch your skin.

3. Skin products

Skin products such as cleansers, toners, and moisturizers can cause havoc to our skin. Many cleansers are too harsh and strip the oils from your face, making it dry, and creating more acne. Try using a gentle cleanser and adding a moisturizing toner.

A good face toner will eliminate any residue the cleanser didn’t remove. Select a face toner that adds a little bit of moisture to your skin to counteract the drying effect of the cleanser.

I’ve heard people claim that everyone needs to put a moisturizer on, even if they don’t have dry skin. If you have oily skin, it doesn’t make sense to add more oils to it. Only add moisturizer to areas that are dry.

Some moisturizers are too heavy and can cause blemishes, even on dry skin, so pick a moisturizer that best fits your skin type.

4. Sunscreens

If you have sensitive skin and are prone to breakouts, sunscreens will probably cause pimples. Pick a thin, easy-to-apply sunscreen, since thick sunscreen blocks pores even more. Take sunscreen off as soon as you can with a gentle cleanser and use toner to get rid of any leftover residue.

5. Certain foods

Pizza. If your pizza contains cheese, pepperoni and/or sausage, you may get what’s commonly heard of as pizza-face. These greasy foods cause your skin to act up.

Dairy products contain natural and synthetic hormones. Excess hormones can cause acne, among other health problems.

Fried foods. You’ve heard the term, “you are what you eat,” which means what you are consuming has an effect on your health and can show up on your skin.

You don’t have to give up pizza.
This vegan pizza is absolutely delicious, even without cheese or meat!

There are many wonderful dairy-free choices, like coconut yogurt, almond milk, coconut cream, and vegan cheeses, so it’s easier than ever to omit dairy.
I love fried foods too, but I don’t love heartburn, breakouts, increased cholesterol, or weight gain. Try baking with panko breadcrumbs instead


Some good news: there is no conclusive evidence that chocolate causes breakouts, but for some people, omitting cocoa powder does make a difference. Typically, the sugar in chocolate chips and chocolate bars is what causes inflammation. If you want clearer skin, limit sugar as much as possible.

chocolate doesn’t cause breakouts, but sugar does

Sugar is in practically everything, and sugar is terribly addictive, I know how hard it is to give up sugary desserts; I used to eat candy daily, but after I was diagnosed as a type-1 diabetic, I had to change my habits. My sweet tooth wouldn’t go away, so I found ways to be creative in the kitchen to get my sweet cravings satisfied with a combination of different sweet fruits and healthy fat from nuts and nut butters.

You can take a peek at my whole-food, dessert cookbook below. Most of the recipes are oil-free and can be made vegan. Order a copy for yourself and another as a holiday gift:

If you love chocolate like I do and need your chocolate fix, I’ve included links below to three of my favorite dairy-free and sugar free chocolate recipes:

Chocolate-licorice smoothie recipe:

Chocolate & Liquor Protein Pops:

Coconut Chocolate Cookies:

Bonus tip:

One more thing that causes breakouts is touching your face. Try not to touch your face. Your fingertips contain natural oils, and if your fingers aren’t clean, they can add bacteria to your delicate skin.

Watch this short video below that covers these tips.

If you have any questions, please write to me below, and/or let me know what causes you to breakout, and what has worked for you.

Please share this post with anyone that would find this helpful.

Top 5 causes of breakouts:

  1. Make-up: foundation and blush
  2. Hair products: hairspray & blush
  3. Skin products: drying cleansers & toners, heavy moisturizers
  4. Sunscreens
  5. Certain foods: dairy, sugar, fried & greasy foods

inexpensive healthy holiday gift ideas (2020 gift guide)

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This is going to be a different holiday experience this year because I won’t be having family over for brunch or gifts. One of my favorite things about this season is watching people open the gifts I give them and seeing their expression of surprise and delight when they receive a gift they like, and wouldn’t buy themselves. Since being the healthiest we can be is especially important this year, due to stress, cold weather, flu season and COVID-19, I’m ordering all my gifts online, and choosing presents that will reduce the amount of toxins in the environment.

I haven’t decided exactly whom I’m going to give what, but these brands and products are much cleaner than what’s typically sold in stores, are priced well (all under $40), are from small business owners, or from companies that care about people and the environment, or I just really like the product.

The best gifts don’t have to be expensive, it’s knowing what someone in interested in, and getting a gift you can afford and they would enjoy. Here’s my top picks for the ladies, moms, dads, men, fitness enthusiasts, weight lifters, the people that are hard to shop for, and those that like to read and cook.

For the ladies

A one-stop shop that carries, green beauty, healthier skin-care and make-up, that also cruelty-free, paraben and phthalates-free, from numerous brands is

They have so much to choose from, it can be overwhelming. If you’re looking for a present, check out their gift baskets:

I’ve had a hard time finding the right moisturizer for my face, until now. Lotions are either too heavy, too light, make me break out, or smell weird. This vitamin C moisturizer is fragrance free, adds just the right amount of hydration, contains no parabens or color additives, and is affordable at $19.99

Ecologically friendly plant-based NAIL POLISHES from Hype. Order their adorable $20 gift set of four (not shown) before it runs out from

Another brand that contains fewer chemicals, is eco-friendly, vegan, cruelty-free, and made in the USA is Ella Milla. Their nail polish is $10.50 and most shades require 2-3 coats in addition to a top coat.

I’m wearing Pixie Dusk, which is a clear polish with silver glitter. This doesn’t need a base coat or a top coat. I’m wearing two coats of this polish, which lasts a week (sometimes even longer)

Instead of roses that don’t last, how about a lavender bouquet? These aromatic plants are made with 100% English lavender, which results in a much sweeter and pleasant fragrance. You can order these beautiful bouquets, that range from $10-$30, by a small business: Nature’s ZEAL. Jennifer is the owner of this small organic lavender/honey/maple syrup farm, located in central Michigan. Place your order by phone 517-699-4319 or email

Nature’s ZEAL also sells these other lavender products: essential oil  $10-$20, pillow spray  $14, body mist $10, bar soap $7, body wash $12, lip balm $3.50, organic raw honey -$12, organic maple syrup  $20. Support this female entrepreneur by placing your order by phone 517-699-4319 or email

These $39 adorable leg warmers are from a female entrepreneur Kaneta. She has many styles and colors. She has frequent promotions, so contact her directly. She also has lots of soft, sexy dresses and exercise wear, made from organic bamboo.

For the person who has everything

If you want to grow back some of the hair you’ve lost, have dandruff or you like scalp massages, this funny looking tool helps remove dead skin cells. We have one for each of us at home. You can use it to massage your scalp with shampoo on your head in the shower, but if you have long curly tangled hair like mine, I use it after I put on a deep conditioner, and gently push the brush up into my scalp (my head is so much cleaner now!).

Heeta Shampoo Brush, 2-Pack Upgraded Wet and Dry Hair Scalp Massager Brush with Soft Silicone Hair Brush for Women, Men, Pets (Black & Purple)

This peppermint liquid hand soap (I have this on my bathroom counter) from smells like candy canes and it doesn’t dry my hands like traditional soap does. It’s $10.99 for 12 ounces. What I like about this brand, in addition to quality products, is that they treat their employees well, use recycled materials, support living wages, and is involved in animal advocacy.

When I put too much toothpaste on my toothbrush, it makes me gag. Did you know that you’re not supposed to swallow traditional toothpaste, not even a little bit? These heathy toothpastes contain 70% organic ingredients, are vegan, cruelty free, and without artificial flavors and colors. The spearmint tastes like spearmint gum, and the anise flavor tastes like liquorish. $6.49 for 5 ounces

With the cold weather, dry lips are a sure thing. One of my favorite lip balms is lemon-lime lip balm from Dr. Bronner. It’s so much better than Chapstick, which is made with petroleum…gross). Theirs is made from organic jojoba and avocado oil. A single balm is $2.95. Their gift set of four is $8.79

For the baker

For the baker, this alcohol-free, certified organic, pure vanilla extract is the tastiest and cleanest I’ve found. You want an alcohol-free vanilla extract in your raw desserts and smoothies, otherwise it will have a strong alcohol flavor. My favorite from is from Simply Organic. It’s pricey at $12.49, but it made my list of affordable healthy gifts 

I make raw sorbets with frozen banana chunks, another fruit, protein and alcohol-free vanilla extract

For the person who loves to bake, but is trying to eat healthier, order this whole-food desserts cookbook: It’s $14.95, and 90% of the recipes are vegan. No sugar, flour or dairy is in any of the recipes:

For the person that wants to lose weight

For those who want to lose weight, but don’t like diets, and wants flexibility, using a food diary to track what you eat, results in better food choices and fat loss. Support small female business women, by ordering the book for $15.95 (that’s me!)   

For the person who wants to lose weight, and/or, go dairy-free and is looking for dairy-free recipes, this whole-food, dairy-free cookbook of mine for $14.95 is the perfect gift:

For the weight lifter

I use these resistance bands for leg curls, biceps curls, front raises, lateral shoulder raises, and front shoulder raises. TheFitLife Exercise Resistance Bands with Handles, which includes 5 Fitness Workout Bands, Training Tubes with Large Handles, Ankle Straps, Door Anchor Attachment, Carry Bag was under $25 last time I checked on Amazon

This 300 page weightlifting record book tracks progress, includes sample workouts, and over 200 of the best strengthening exercises. $15.99  

No butt workout is complete without a glute band, here’s one that gives you lots of options and will work for anyone regardless of strength because of it’s light resistance (scroll towards the bottom of the shopping page for the NT Loop mini red band. It’s on sale for the holidays for $10.

Lose weight fast. Top 5 strategies, plus tone thighs & butt with these exercises

I struggled for years to lose the excess pounds I packed on from eating fried foods, candy, and large portions. I hired trainers, exercised several times a week (sometimes daily), read weight loss books and followed their worthless tips, but nothing I tried resulted in fat loss. After earning a certification in fitness nutrition, and trying practically everything under the sun, I finally found what works for me, and, more importantly, works for everyone who tries and sticks to these tried-and-true weight-loss methods consistently. If you’d rather watch a video instead of reading this long post, scroll down this page towards the end to watch the YouTube video I created.

To lose weight fast, my top five weight loss strategies are:

Strategy #1. Omit dairy

Omitting dairy means eliminating animal milk, butter, cheese, cream, whey protein powder, ice cream and yogurt. Dairy products are high in calories and fat. Milk contains lactose which leaches calcium from your bones; drinking milk can make your bones brittle. If you are worried about not getting enough calcium, take an all-in-one calcium supplement, which contains D3 and magnesium. Cow’s milk has been shown to contain lead, pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones, which damage our health. Whole milk and butter contain saturated fats, which are the bad fats. Dairy causes belly bloat and acne. Once you remove dairy from your diet, you will have clearer skin, better digestion, and lose excess weight quickly.

If you’re wondering how you can possibly enjoy foods free of dairy, there’s lots of good dairy substitutes like almond and coconut milk. I use Parma instead of parmesan cheese, which is made from nutritional yeast flakes, on pasta and soups. Instead of sour cream, I buy plain vegan coconut yogurt (SoDelicious brand is my favorite vegan yogurt). If a recipe asks for cream, whole canned coconut milk, works well.

If your favorite recipes are high in calories and won’t work without cheese, and you would like dairy-free recipes, my two cookbooks, The High-Five Diet and Slimming Dairy-Free Desserts & Smoothies, have over 80 dairy-free recipes, combined. These recipes are calorie and carbohydrate-controlled, so they help with weight loss (links below).

Strategy #2. Reduce or eliminate alcohol.

Alcohol contains seven calories per gram, whereas carbs are four calories per gram. So, alcohol is almost twice the calories per gram as carbs. Protein contains four calories per gram so that busts the myth that carbs cause weight gain. It’s excess calories that cause weight gain. Alcohol suppresses fat burning, increases appetite, belly fat and breast cancer risk.

Fat and excess food accumulates in the liver. If your liver is trying to get rid of alcohol, which is a priority, because alcohol is a poison, the liver is not going to be metabolizing fat, which makes it extremely difficult to lose weight.

Strategy #3. Reduce oil consumption.

Oils contain a whopping 120 calories per tablespoon. If you cook with oil, and have a dressing that contains oil, those calories add up fast. Measure oil each and every time so you can minimize how much you put in your meals.

I make my own salad dressings with little to no oil and I like them so much better because they aren’t greasy or heavy. I can modify almost any dressing recipe to make it a lot less calories, and I can use more dressing, by using an almond milk or coconut milk beverage instead of oil.

Strategy #4. Add oil and riced cauliflower to rice.

Adding a little bit of oil to your rice while it’s cooking, letting it cool, and heating it back up, increases resistant starch. Resistant starch is indigestible, so the end result is that you end up absorbing fewer calories and fewer carbs.

In addition to adding oil to your rice, add an equal amount of riced cauliflower to your rice in the pot, five minutes prior to cooking. This will add fiber, make you fuller, and if you normally eat a cup of rice, and eat ½ cup of rice and ½ cup of cauliflower, you are cutting your calories almost in half.

Strategy #5. Keep a food diary.

It has been proven that tracking what you eat, results in better food choices and fat loss. When you write down everything you eat, you might be shocked at the findings. While people say, I hardly eat anything, when they review what they’ve eaten at the end of the day, they realize how much more food they are eating. Some people are horrified to find that they are eating eight or more times a day. You don’t want to eat more than six times a day, because eating shouldn’t become an obsessive habit, or to fill a void; it should be to provide sustenance, and make your body, not just your tastebuds, feel good.

Before I figured out what would satisfy my hunger cravings and allow me to continue my rigorous workouts, I paid for customized bikini competition diet plans, where I ate six times a day, yet I was always hungry, felt weak, didn’t have enough energy and craved carbs. After reviewing my food diary, I figured out what works best for me, which is a higher carb diet with less protein. I determined the best times to eat, before I’m starving. At 3:00pm, I was so hungry, and ate too much, so I changed the times I ate certain meals, where I don’t feel like I’m starving, yet I’m hungry and can enjoy eating.

Instead of the six small meals that bikini competitors eat, I’ve reduced eating to four times a day. I now eat four larger meals, so I finally feel satisfied after eating, which helped me lose those last tough pounds. I probably wouldn’t have come to conclusion of the best changes I needed to make if I hadn’t written down what I ate and the times I was eating.

When it comes to tracking food, it’s also important to write down what times of the day, or night, you eat. It’s no wonder you’re starving if you haven’t eaten in five hours. When you fast during the day, it’s more likely you will binge-eat at night. You’re also going to be less likely to grab a few chips or crackers if you have to write it down.

Tracking what you’re eating, how often you eat, and what times you eat, will help you figure out if you need to eat larger or smaller meals, if you need to cut back on grazing, or eat more often. You’ll find what times you’re eating the most calories, and what times you end up eating more snacks and high-calorie foods.

We are all different, so tracking what foods you are eating, how many times a day you eat, and what times you tend to binge, or grab sweet and/or salty snacks, can help you pinpoint what to change. Maybe you need to eat earlier so you’re not starving by mealtime and end up over-eating. Maybe you’re snacking instead of eating nutritious meals. When you use a food diary, you might realize that you’re eating too little for breakfast and eating too much at dinner. The simple method of writing down what you eat, takes only a few minutes a day, and will help you see a pattern to help you come up with a solution that works for you.

If you want to start a food log, you can write everything down in a binder, or log it into an app, but I found that having everything already laid out and tidy, with appropriate-length lines and sections to write down what you eat, where you can put the date at the top so you can look back at what you ate on Tuesday or Saturday, and gives you the option of tracking your carbs, protein, fat, calories, and water, makes it much easier. My paperback food tracker includes all this, and I also included my proprietary High-Five Diet program so you can track not just the foods you eat, but also your weight loss progress. Preview and order this paperback food journal: Price $15.99


Abdominal-targeted exercises don’t use a lot of energy so you’re going to see the most results with reducing calories instead of doing crunches. Cardio is not the best exercise choice because cardio tends to make people hungrier, so they end up eating more, which is counterproductive to weight loss.

If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you are taking in. To lose weight with exercise, choose resistance training, with bands and dumbbells, instead of cardio. Too much cardio can cause muscle loss, and the less muscle you have, the fewer calories you burn when you aren’t exercising.

You want to work every muscle in your body at least twice a week, but if you’re limited on time, spend more time doing lower body exercises instead of ab work or upper body exercises if your goal is to lose bodyfat. You want to perform exercises that target the thighs, butt and hamstrings, because these larger muscles burn more calories, and tone the legs.

Here’s exercises that will tone your thighs and butt:

  1. lunges
  2. squats
  3. step-ups (not shown)
  4. hip thrusts
  5. resistance band exercises

Exercises that work the butt (the glutes) and the hamstrings (back of the legs), that you also want to include are:

  1. bridges
  2. deadlifts

I created a video, that goes over these top five diet strategies, and the best weight loss exercises that burn the most calories and tone the lower body. Press the play button below to watch this short video.  

If you’re looking for more weight loss strategies that work, and/or want lower calorie dairy-free recipes your family will love, order

Price $14.99. This also makes a great gift, just in time for the holidays.

Let me know in the comments below, if you’ve tried any of these strategies and how they’ve worked for you.

To lose weight fast, the top five weight loss strategies are:

  1. Omit dairy
  2. Eliminate alcohol
  3. Add oil to rice to increase resistant starch and replace half the rice with riced cauliflower
  4. Reduce all oils
  5. Keep a food diary
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