don’t exercise with your friend or family

childhood friends

Having a friend to exercise with to motivate you to workout, and to be accountable, is an incredible gift, but, what if you’re the one that wants to work out, and your friend doesn’t want to? What if that friend that doesn’t like to exercise dreads it, and demotivates you; or that friend is frequently late, cutting your workout short. Or maybe your workout buddy finds excuses not to exercise and cancels. In those instances, working out with your friend is a really bad idea, because you’re not exercising enough and/or not hard enough.

Another reason not to exercise with your friend, is that it’s really rare to have a buddy who has exactly the same goals, strength and flexibly as you do. You might really like some exercises and she may hate those. She may have knee issues and won’t do plyometrics, but you want to do box jumps. Or, maybe she pushes you too hard, or makes you lift too much weight, which can lead to injury; that’s not good either.

I’ve trained husbands and wives, moms and daughters, and best friends, and the problem is always that one person is stronger than the other, which means, that I, as their personal trainer, has to pay more attention to one person more than the other, and some exercises may not be hard enough for the client that is more fit. So the client that is weaker gets more attention, which isn’t fair to the stronger client; I do this to make sure no one gets hurt.

When I’m training two people, it’s a challenge, and limiting, since I have to find two exercise machines that are close to each other (and available, which can be hard when the gym is busy), and an area large enough that will accommodate the three of us, and those exercises have to be ones that both people can do.

The other problem is that when one person cannot make the training appointment, the other person typically cancels the training session completely, either because they don’t want to pay the full cost of personalized training, or because they are so used to training with their partner, they don’t workout at all.

The bottom line is that, if your workout partner motivates you, you get along, your schedules work perfectly together, you enjoy your sessions more, and your exercises are more effective and you get more done, then your workout buddy is a keeper. But if your exercise partner is causing you to miss sessions, cuts sessions short, pushes you too hard, picks on you, stresses you out, dictates all the exercises, or is holding you back from getting stronger, it’s better to workout on your own.

some vegan burgers are worse than beef


burger and friesEveryone knows to avoid fatty animal meat; one of the reasons is due to it’s high cholesterol, but vegan alternatives can be bad for our health too.

Lots of vegan products are made with genetically modified (GMO) ingredients, chemicals (usually disguised as flavors), sugar, and various flours and oils.

What’s growing in popularity due to it’s yummy taste is the Impossible Burger. The ingredients should stop you from trying it though:

Impossible Burger ingredients: water, sunflower oil, coconut oil, potato protein, natural flavors (numerous chemicals), leghemoglobin (GMO soy), yeast extract, salt, konjac gum, xanthan gum, (GMO) soy protein isolate, synthetic vitamins, and methylcellulose (1).

That’s a lot of stuff! There’s GMO ingredients, and the problem with GMO foods is that GMO crops use pesticides that have proven to cause cancer and other dangerous problems for humans.

The Impossible Burger also has more fat and carbs, is high in salt, has less protein, but more fiber than beef burgers (1). I make turkey burgers at home with herbs and spices,  without fillers, or soy. If you want a vegan burger, and don’t want to eat soy, GMO or potentially dangerous chemicals from entering your system, make a vegan burger from scratch. The commercial food industry has no interest in you, only your money.

  1. Source: “What is the Impossible Burger, and is it healthy?” Healthline. 2019. Apr. 25.



Why I won’t eat spirulina

spirulina is dangerous

I used to put spirulina powder, for its many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants; in my fruit smoothies, and I even made a raw vegan spirulina pie at one point, but I stopped consuming this algae because the taste was too strong.

I’m glad I stopped putting this dark green powder in my food because it’s been shown to be contaminated with toxins, heavy metals, bacteria, and can harm the liver (1).

  1. Source: “What are the side effects and dangers of Spirulina.” Healthline. 2019. Jun 4.



My secret three weight loss foods


There’s no foods that will guarantee fat loss, but these three foods fill me up, and when I add them to my diet consistently, I lose body fat, and it’s typically belly fat.

When I’m really hungry, I tend to grab nuts, eat nut butter, tortilla chips, or a bar, but every time I do this, my weight creeps up. Our bodies have a set weight point that it likes to be at, so the hunger signal turns on when we try to lower our calorie intake. You can lower that set point, but it’s going to be challenging initially.

When I want to lose bodyfat, but I’m really hungry, even though I’ve eaten my quota of calories for the day, I do one or all of the following:

  1. Down a zero calorie tea blended (put in your blender) with ice, 16 oz. of cold filtered water, and 1 tablespoon of sweetened vanilla protein powder. This fills me up very quickly (don’t sip it, drink it fast), and it’s yummy too.
  2. Eat broccoli, roasted cauliflower, snap peas, or green beans. Either add one or more of these items to some or most of your meals, or snack on them when cravings kick in. Make sure to cook them without butter, cream, or cheese, and if using olive oil, use just a small amount. Add salt and spices.
  3. Drink water. Most people don’t drink enough water and walk around dehydrated, which is why they don’t feel good. Your body may confuse dehydration with hunger. Our bodies are 60% water so we typically need to drink one or more percent of our weight in liquid ounces a day. So if you weigh 125 pounds, you should drink at least 125 ounces of water each day. Once you grab water instead of extra food, you’ll be able to drink the amount of water your body needs.


Photo: me

the Carnivore Diet

pork ribs with BBQ sauce

There’s some crazy diets out there. One of them is the Carnivore Diet. It’s a diet that consists ENTIRELY from animal products (1). It’s not a joke! No grains, fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, or beans are permitted (1). If a diet suggests you stay away from vegetables, don’t try that diet!

Just because a diet is trending, people have lost weight, or it’s sponsored from someone who seems legit, that doesn’t mean that diet is good for you. Some diets are dangerous, lead to malnutrition, dehydration, high cholesterol, heart disease, constipation, and/or cancer (and that’s just the short list). Dr. Shawn Baker, a proponent of the Carnivore Diet, had his medical license revoked “…due to concerns about his competency” (1).

ANY diet where you reduce calories, will lead to weight loss. What you want is diet that’s healthy, gives you lots of options, and is one you can stick to.

P.S. If you need help losing excess pounds, check out my flexible eating program with lots of nutritious, delicious recipes for just $14.95 at


  1. Source: “All You Need to Know About the Carnivore (All-Meat) Diet.” Healthline. 2019. Jun. 4.




Coconut Chocolate Cookies-Healthy!

dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, flour-free, sugar-free coconut chocolate cookies

Cookies that are good for you, AND, you can eat them for breakfast. These are dairy-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, cocoa-free, flour-free, oil-free, soy-free and sugar-free, but you wouldn’t know it because they are sweet, moist and chocolatey.

These treats taste like chocolate macaroons, but without any oil, cocoa, or sugar. I used carob powder to give it a sweet chocolate flavor. Since carob doesn’t have any caffeine, unlike chocolate, you can eat these at night too. I used raisins, and only two tablespoons of honey for sweetness. You don’t even bake these, just mix, press into balls and refrigerate.

  • 1 cup dry toasted oats
  • ¼ cup carob powder, level
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup almond butter, creamy, unsalted
  • ¼ cup SoDelicious plain coconut milk beverage
  • 2 T honey*
  • 1/3 cup Hunza raisins or mini chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients, oats, carob, and coconut flakes, in a medium-sized bowl with a spoon. Add almond butter, coconut milk and honey. Mix a few times with the spoon. Add raisins. With clean gloves, knead ingredients together until completely incorporated, to make a large dough ball. Pinch off about 2 large tablespoons, to make a large ball. Repeat until you have 12 cookies. Place in a covered glass container and refrigerate. Can be eaten right away.

Nutritional info for each cookie:

Calories: 142 Gross Carbs: 15 grams Fat: 9 grams Protein: 4 grams

*If you want to make this vegan, use agave, but honey works best because it’s stickier and holds the dough together well.


Pina Colada Protein Smoothie

dairy-free Pina Colada Protein Smoothie

This refreshing, light tropical fruit smoothie, packed with protein, is perfect for a mid-day snack, or a pre or post-workout mini-meal.


  • 1 large banana, frozen, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 small frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 cup collagen protein powder, plain**
  • 1T vanilla Truvani vegan protein powder*
  • 1 tsp toasted coconut flakes
  • 1 cup cold SoDelicious plain coconut milk

Put ingredients in the above order into blender, and mix for 25 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Stir once with a spoon and enjoy!

Calories: 300      Protein: 20 grams     Net Carbs: 30 grams


*You can find this 5-ingredient, certified organic protein powder here:

This vanilla vegan protein powder is very thick, high in calories, and has a grainy texture if you use the recommended portion with the scoop in the bag, but it imparts a good sweet vanilla flavor, and no texture issues if you use just a tablespoon or two, with collagen protein (and I’m sure would work with other plain protein powders too).

*I use Great Lakes


the medical problem why you can’t lose bodyfat

attractive beach beauty bikini

Photo by Pixabay on

Like most people, I wondered what’s the underlying medical problem to explain why I can’t lose weight? I eat well, I exercise, and my portions aren’t big. I had a bunch of tests done, and I didn’t have a slow metabolism, a thyroid issue, a hormonal imbalance, or anything else to explain why I couldn’t drop the excess weight.

The problem was, my faulty perception of how many calories I thought I burned in a 24-hour period. My four-day a week weight-training workouts were hard. I did cardio two days a week and took only one day off to rest. I made all of my meals from scratch, and weighed and measured everything. I assumed, with all this activity, I was burning 1800-2000 calories per day, so I ate about 1700 on a daily basis, with some cheat snacks here and there. Once I reduced my calories down to 1600 per day, and shunned the treats, did I finally see a slimmer me. And, I dropped weight fast!

Your fat-loss problem typically isn’t medical. Most of the time, you just need to eat less, and maybe a lot less. We weren’t meant to need a lot of calories, so if your calorie expenditure is 1600, or even 1800 calories per day, that’s not a lot, and it can be upsetting to eat that little. You can lose that excess body fat, but only if you’ve accepted the fact that you have to eat less, and make permant changes. And stop searching for a fat-loss tea or supplement, those don’t work, and are a waste of money.


why you can’t lose bodyfat with exercise

person holding black barbell

Photo by Victor Freitas on

All these people are losing bodyfat by working out, so why can’t you? Exercise can increase hunger so people tend to eat more on days they exercise, which negates the calories they burned. People also underestimate how many calories they’ve burned during a workout. Unless you’re very overweight, unfit, and work really hard during a 60 minute exercise session, it’s unlikely you’ve burned 1000 calories with that one workout.

The less you weigh, and the more fit and active you are, the fewer calories you’ll expend. For example, I’m 5 feet tall and weigh around 100 pounds; after a grueling 1 ½ hour lower body workout with weights, some plyometrics, and a 10 minute cooldown, my tracker shows I’ve only burned 350 calories. My friend who is a 5’2 and weighs 115 pounds, trained with me, only burned 300 calories! The reason she expended fewer calories than I did is because she runs marathons so her body is more efficient than mine. While you may think you’re burning 600-1000 calories, you may only be expending 300-800 calories per workout.

If you’re exercising twice a week, and burning about 500 calories a workout (that would be a hard session), and are eating about the same calories as you usually do, it’s going to take at least seven workouts, about a month, to lose one measly pound. This is why it’s really important to be consistent with exercise, and do some sort of exercise for 30 minutes every day. This also explains why exercise, in combination with reduced calories, and better food choices to fill you up with fiber and nutrients, results in substantial fat loss.


Eat Organic for Fat Loss


Choosing organic foods over conventional foods is a must to reduce the ingestion of toxic pesticides, which may be the cause of the rise of cancer and obesity. The United States Department of Agriculture, aka the USDA, found that, in many cases, “…pesticide residues remained on fruits and vegetables even after they were washed and,….peeled” (38).

Packaged foods that do not have the certified organic logo often contain numerous harmful chemicals disguised under the names: flavors and colors. Big companies do this because using chemicals is cheaper than using real food. In other countries that ban some of the chemicals, like petroleum-based dye yellow #5, and red #40, that the industries use, sell similar boxed foods “…overseas with healthier ingredients” like black carrot juice and beta carotene (53-54). Such companies don’t care about people’s health which is why they put chemicals in our food; their only concern is about profits, which is why it’s really important to read ingredient labels.

Carageenan, a common ingredient, is linked to intestinal issues, and cancer. The GRAS, generally recognized as safe, initials, means nothing. “In fact, the FDA has failed to conduct ongoing reviews of GRAS substances, including those that raised concerns over 30 years ago” (61).

If you switched to fake sweeteners to lose weight, like Splenda or NutraSweet, they may cause weight gain, and are typically derived from coal tar and methanol (66). You should care about this if your goal is weight loss because studies with animals fed sugar substitutes had slower metabolisms” (68). People that eat fake sugars crave sweet foods even more, which may cause you to eat even more calories. The artificial sweetener sucralose [is] (tied to leukemia and weight gain (73).

Cellulose, from wood, which is an ingredient in a lot of low-fat products, was researched, and listed in a prestigious science journal, Nature. They found that cellulose, in doses equal to those found in processed foods changed gut bacteria typically consistent with increased inflammation. In addition, cellulose is “linked to serious digestive issues and weight gain” (69). Your stomach issues might not be caused by wheat or gluten; they may be caused, or aggravated, by chemicals in the foods your buy.

Obesogens, are chemicals, including pesticides, and various additives, which, likely cause obesity, diabetes, cancer, larger fat cells and a slower metabolism.

Sugar is correlated with heart disease, skin damage (wrinkles), cognitive decline with age, weakens the immune system, converted into fat, and elevates triglyceride and cancer risks, but we all know to reduce sugar intake; most people only look at sugar, calories, fat, and salt when buying a product (82-83). You cannot trust a manufacturer, a commercial, or the words “natural.”

If you truly want to be healthy, and feel your best, you’ve got to read labels. Since there’s so many ingredients that sound like something from a science class, it’s best to put those items that contain those words back on the shelf. To protect my immune system, I only buy organic fruits, vegetables, poultry, and meat; and only purchase certified organic prepared items.

Source: Hari, Vani. Feeding You Lies. California: Hay House, Inc. 2019. Print.


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