20 minute chest & back workout with weights for those with cranky shoulders

All you need for this workout is a pair of dumbbells, but if you have several pairs of dumbbells, a Swiss ball, yoga blocks (if you are advanced at push-ups), grab those too. People who have never lifted, to bodybuilders, can do this workout, just choose weights that fit your current strength level, follow along, and listen to your body. Strength takes time, enjoy the journey.

how to socialize/exercise safely during COVID-19

By looking at social media posts, it appears that most people are not following safety guidelines to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. In this video, I explain the three best steps to take to socialize safely at this dangerous time.

barre 10-minute workout with a chair

This 10 minute lower body workout includes 3 minutes of stretching at the end, and is designed for people of all levels (and is great for seniors).

These exercises halted my muscle growth

treadmill cardio

I’m furious at my old trainers because they had me do exercises I hated, that wasted my time and negated my goal of gaining muscle. Either they didn’t know these exercises reduced the likelihood of hypertrophy, or they didn’t want me to get too muscular because I’m female.

What were these exercises? I was walking on the StairMaster, riding a stationary bike, or going for a long walk after every weight lifting session, because my trainers told me to.

Too much cardiovascular exercise, and/or not eating enough calories will cause muscle loss, which I knew, but what I didn’t know what that I should wait a minimum of eight hours after a weight lifting session, or better yet, do cardio on a non-lifting day (1).

Now, I lift weights in the mornings, do mobility exercises mid-day, and walks at night. I see a lot more muscle now, and I may be getting too buff, so I’m trying to cut calories. The leaner you are, you’ll look less huge, and appear more “toned.”

photo: that’s me, jogging on the treadmill at the gym

  1. Source: TC Luoma, TNation, “Don’t do this after lifting weights.” On-line. Retrieved May 31, 2020.https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-dont-do-this-after-lifting-weights?utm_source=tnation&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly_dose-200531

weight-loss dairy-free banana-caramel ice cream

weight-loss vegan caramel ice creamWant to eat ice cream that won’t make you fat, that’s dairy-free, delicious, has no added sugar, is protein-packed, satisfies your sweet tooth, and is good for you? Your wish has been granted.

Below is the recipe for one serving of my banana-caramel ice cream. If your goal is fat loss, replace one of your meals for this healthy treat.

This ice cream’s sweetness comes from the cinnamon and frozen bananas (the trick is that the bananas must be frozen for at least 12 hours). The peanut butter gives it a wonderful nut-butter flavor. The almonds deliver just the right crunch, and the tahini resembles a combination of gooey caramel and toffee.

Weight-loss Dairy-free Banana-Caramel Ice Cream

  • 1 ½ frozen bananas, broken into 1-inch chunks
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 level teaspoon creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons of collagen (for protein/thickener)
  • 5 whole almonds (for crunch)
  • 1 teaspoon tahini (topping-sometimes I add more)

Place all ingredients in a small food processor (not a blender, since the portion is too small), in the order listed above, but don’t add the tahini yet. Mix for a few seconds, then stir with a spoon. Mix and stir a few times until the ice cream is creamy. With a soup spoon, scoop out the ice cream into a small glass or porcelain bowl. By now, it’s a little melted, but that’s okay. Drizzle tahini on top. Place the bowl in the freezer for about five to seven minutes for the ice cream to firm up. Eat with a spoon, slowly, savoring every mouthful. It’s tastes too good to be healthy, but it is!

P.S. If you’re vegan, look for vegan collagen, or add a touch of salt.

Calories: 317                Carbs: 45 grams                 Protein: 20 grams

Instead of biceps curls, do this

For bigger biceps, you can do these exercises in addition, or, instead of curls. I do a combination of pull-ups, chin-ups, lat pull-downs, and rows, twice a week to grow my biceps and back. These exercises burn more calories than biceps curls because you’re using more muscle groups.

“How are you?” has a new meaning


Before COVID-19 arrived in the United State, “How are you?” was more of a greeting than a question. No one wanted an actual answer, or seemed to care if you broke your toe, or if your boss was a creep.

The typical answer to the question of “How are you” was: “Fine. How are you?” To which the other person answered: “fine.”

In this present nightmarish time, “How are you?” is an actual question on your mental and/or physical health. People really want to know if you are sick or well.

Currently, when someone asks me “How are you?” This is how I respond (and they listen!):

My response:

I’m doing great, except:

  1. I lost my job at the gym
  2. I’m afraid to leave the house
  3. I’m worried I’ll lose my health care (there’s a lawsuit in court to kill the Affordable Care Act)
  4. I’m concerned about a food shortage
  5. I cut up my food really slowly and carefully in case I get cut and have to go to the hospital since they are overwhelmed, contagious centers
  6. I can’t go near friends and family
  7. I couldn’t hug my mom on mother’s day.
  8. I don’t know how I’m going to vote, pay my bills, or receive my paychecks if the postal service isn’t funded.
  9. I can’t sleep well because I don’t know what the future will look like.
  10. Fire season is approaching so I’m worried houses will catch on fire with no one to put out the flames if states don’t receive government funds.
  11. I worry about looters breaking into my home since so many people have lost their jobs.
  12. I’m sickened and stressed that more demonstrators will be abused by racist police.

Other than that, I’m fantastic! How are you?


P.S. I want to hear from you. How are you doing? What are you going through? What can I do to help you?

Are gyms safe? What will they look like? The safest gyms during COVID-19

In this video, I cover whether gyms are safe to go to until we have a treatment and/or a cure for COVID-19, what gyms may look like in the near future, which gyms will be the safest, and if you can stay strong and lean, if you don’t return to the gym.

For weight loss help during these trying times, go to my site: theHighFiveDiet.com

Should you take insulin?


Unless your doctor has diagnosed you with diabetes with a blood glucose test, there is no valid reason why you should take insulin. Like all medications, insulin has side effects.

It’s a danger to your health to take any medication if you don’t need it. When you take insulin your pancreas goes into sleep mode, because it doesn’t need to work if you’re adding synthetic insulin, and, sometimes, the pancreas doesn’t wake up. Insulin is a dangerous drug, so don’t use it unless you have to.

photo: In this era of conspiracy theories, and people, high in U.S. government positions, flat-out lying about serious issues that can hurt your health, it’s imperative to listen to the experts: doctors, scientists, and nurses. Think about what the politicians, and those who have a political, power, or financial agendas, are saying. Is it true? Does it make sense? Is there data to back it up? What do they gain from trying to convince you, the opposite of truth?

Best way to watch YouTube Exercise videos

Since many gyms and exercise studios are closed, a lot of people are turning to YouTube exercise videos. You can watch YouTube on your computer, but if it’s set up like mine, attached to a bunch of cords, is really heavy, and I can’t move it that much, so it’s not ideal to exercise in front of.

The other option is to use a laptop, but I’d have to charge it and plug it in, so that’s not very convenient.

I could use our iPad and set it on a counter, but my husband is always using it. Another option is to watch it on a cell phone, and prop it up on it’s side.

A better option is to attach a cell phone to a tripod so you can move it easily and adjust the height. You can buy a cell phone tripod, fairly inexpensively, on-line.

The best option though, is to watch YouTube on your TV; you would just need a Smart TV,  Apple TV, Roku, FireTV stick, (or similar) where you can download the YouTube app. Or, you can switch from cable, or your current provider, to YouTube TV. That’s what we did. Changing from cable TV to YouTube TV saved a lot of money, and I now watch most of my exercise videos from YouTube, instead of CDs, and I’m really glad I made the switch.

Whatever you decide, do at least some sort of exercise an hour every day during the shelter-in-place orders, since we are all not moving around as much as before.

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