Cardio increases body fat

_L5A0571_Lightroom_Export_Full_Size_JPEG_300dpi_sRGBWhile I agree that everyone should do cardiovascular activities to keep the heart healthy and the blood flowing, I don’t want people to solely do cardio because they want to lose body fat. If you do too much cardio, you’ll lose muscle, slow your metabolism, and increase your body fat, so if your goal is to look better, you’ve been doing what’s counterproductive.

Whether it’s body weight training, like push-ups, lunges or plyometric exercises; or lifting weights, those movements are what’s ultimately going to boost your metabolism and shrink body fat.  The other bonus about weights, that people usually forget, is that it strengthens the core and improves balance (like when you do lunges). Seniors especially need weight training because muscles atrophy as we age, because we use them less, and balance tends to weaken. No one wants to fall and break a bone so weighted exercises, either on a machine or with assistance is really helpful for those that aren’t very physically active.

To get your body healthy and strong, lift weights (it doesn’t have to be heavy weights) or do body weight training three times a week. Do 30-45 minutes of cardio every day, ending with light stretches, but save the intense cardio workouts for days you don’t weight train. This will give you the toned body you want.

P.S. There is a one week detailed weight-training and cardio exercise program in my book: The High-Five Diet

Photo: That’s me doing curls.

Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

Dairy products, like cheese, are high in calories and just plain bad for the human body. These enchiladas are not only dairy-free, they are also gluten free. I used corn tortillas instead of flour, which saves calories, and is healthier to.


  • Corn tortillas
  • Enchilada sauce, 1 can
  • 1 peeled zucchini, shredded,
  • Fresh cilantro
  • 1 ½ lbs Chicken breast, baked, cut into bite-sized slices, seasoned with salt, garlic and black pepper
  • Lettuce, shredded
  • Plain vegan yogurt, 1 serving
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Heat the enchilada sauce until bubbly. Cover the bottom of a 9×13 inch glass baking dish with the warmed sauce. Place one corn tortilla into the sauce as shown in the video, slightly overlapping each one so that it fills the dish. Add chicken, zucchini and cilantro. Add a little more sauce. Add six more corn tortillas, putting a little bit of sauce on each one. Make two to three layers of the chicken, zucchini and cilantro. On the last layer, you’ll use the rest of the tortilla sauce, adding cilantro and oregano. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Open up a plain vegan yogurt cup, add lime juice and stir until creamy. Once enchiladas are cooked, slice into rectangles, add shredded lettuce, and drizzle with the lime yogurt. So good!

Is it gluten, or all in your mind?

flourless peanut butter cookiesIf you’ve been able to eat gluten products in the past and felt fine, but those foods don’t resonate well with you now, is it psychosomatic? The problem could very-well be real. More people are having problems with gluten, not because people are more aware, but because people can lose tolerance to gluten as they get older. If something doesn’t make you feel good, stop eating it.


Source: “Gluten’s Curious Journey.” Delicious Living Magazine. Oct 2017. Page 21. Print.


Photo: Most cookies have flour (gluten). In my new dessert cookbook, Slimming Dairy-Free Desserts & Smoothies, all recipes are gluten-free…even the cookies.

5 easy tips to whittle that waist that don’t require exercise or cutting carbs

handstandThese simple tips really work to lose belly fat.

Eat 30 minutes before you are typically hungry. So, if you are super hungry at 11:30 am and 3:00 pm, instead, eat your lunch at 11:00 am and your snack at 2:30 pm. Since it takes about 20 minutes for your mind to register that you are full, it will signal earlier to stop eating.

Eat five small meals every day. Some people eat six meals a day, but unless those meals are really small, it’s easy to eat more calories than you should.

Space your small meals out every 2 ½ to 3 hours. When I interviewed people for my diet book, one commonality between all the overweight individuals is that they waited too long between meals. When you wait too long to eat, your body thinks you’re starving and slows down your metabolism, which causes your body to hold onto fat.

Plan your meals in advance and make a few meals ahead of time. When you don’t plan, we all know what happens….pizza!

Eat protein, carbohydrates and a little bit of healthy fat at every meal. If any one of these three macronutrients are missing, you’re more apt to be hungry and snack on edibles that are high-calorie.

Photo: Me doing a handstand

new! Low-Calorie Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Desserts Cookbook

Slimming Dairy-Free Desserts & SmoothiesMy second cookbook is out! This one is ALL desserts. All of these recipes are dairy-free and gluten-free, have no vegetable oil, or only a small amount of oil added for moisture. Instead of sugar, I use fruit, and/or small amounts of maple syrup, or natural honey. If you’re a vegan, use maple syrup in place of honey.

Sure, there are other dairy-free and gluten-free cookbooks, but the problem with most desserts is that they are high in calories and contain ingredients that are bad for us. None of these dessert recipes contain flour, sugar, butter, milk, or dairy products, since they cause inflammation and readily turn into fat. Most desserts also contain a lot of oil; even coconut oil in large quantities, isn’t a good idea.

These desserts are made with whole foods filled with antioxidants and nutrients, so they are good for you, and the added benefit is that your body burns more calories processing them.

I transformed high-fat and high-calorie, low-nutrient breakfasts into lower-calorie, nutrient-rich versions, like my banana-coconut pancakes and toasted coconut chocolate crumble. There’s even treats made with quinoa, chia seeds, and sweet potatoes.

I created decadent fudge, creamy pudding, chocolate candy, chewy cookies, refreshing smoothies, lemon oat muffins, and coconut bars, all guilt-free. These are easy to make, and many don’t even require cooking. The added bonus is that these are not only scrumptious, they are calorie and carb-controlled. You can now satisfy your sweet tooth, and lose weight too.

Play video below to see what some of the desserts look like. Order your copy today from


Don’t stretch post-workout!

Joe stretchingI remember exercise classes that had us stretching beforehand, it didn’t feel good then, and, later that idea was scrapped because stretching a cold muscle can pull that muscle. Now, we’re told we shouldn’t stretch after a workout either. What?  Apparently, stretching after a hard workout can make it harder to recover. The thought process is that stretching limits blood flow to the muscles you just worked. Per William A. Sands, Ph.D., a certified strength and conditioning specialist and sport technologist “…by limiting blood flow to and from your muscles, you limit the muscles’ ability to rid themselves of inflammatory byproducts and get their pH levels back to where they need to be to recover…you deprive the muscles of oxygen…” (1).

My body tightens up when I hold a stretch for more than a few seconds, which is the opposite of what I want. Instead of static stretches, where you hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds, I opt for dynamic stretches, whereby I move in and out of the stretch. This method seems to improve my flexibility.

If you want another cool down option, what we should do, and what I’ve been doing for years, is a 5-15 minute light cardio session after weight training (1). A lot of people hate cardio, and I’m right there with you, so I set a timer that counts down, which forces me to put in the time.


  1. Source: Fetters, Aleisha. “The Science Behind Skipping Your Post-Workout Stretch. Blog Post Type. My Fitness Pal Blog. My Fitness Pal. 14, Sept. 2017. Received: 7, Oct. 2017. Retrieved from:


How I make zoodles taste like noodles

I hear the complaint that zucchini noodles don’t taste like traditional pasta, every now and then, so I published this video so everyone can see how I make it.

To lose belly fat, do squats

Fit Girl on the beachYou’ve probably seen all sorts of ab-targeted exercises that promise to flatten the stomach or get rid of belly-fat. If you’ve done them, you know they don’t work. Ab exercises are great for strengthening the abdominal muscles so don’t avoid them.

The only way to reduce belly fat is to burn more calories. One exercise that burns a lot of calories is squats. The reason is that it’s extremely aerobic, and it builds muscle. Your legs burn more calories than any other body part, and when you’re building muscle, you burn calories during the workout, AND even afterwards. You will burn more calories doing squats than running, because squats elevate your heart rate during the exercise, and boots your metabolism because the calorie burning continues after the workout since your body is repairing and building more muscle. For best results, do various forms of squats, three sets of 15 reps, twice a week.

This video shows how to do front-weighted squats:

This next video shows how to do plie squats. The calf-raise is for an additional challenge:

This video shows proper form when squatting:

why you shouldn’t take other’s advice

burger and fried onion ringsI’ve overheard many conversations about nutrition, exercise, vitamins, supplements, and diet, where one person acts like they are an expert, when they aren’t, and tells the other person what they should and shouldn’t do. Just because your friend may benefit from a supplement, may not mean you will. If you are deficient in a supplement, then that supplement might help you. But, if you don’t need that vitamin, it can harm you.

I’ve seen gym rats brag about how much weight they lost, and encourage everyone to do exactly what they are doing. They end up with sluggish metabolisms and excessive weight gain (but they won’t tell you the bad stuff, or maybe, they haven’t had any bad experiences, yet!).

When I started my weight loss journey, everyone told me to do cardio. Lots of cardiovascular exercise may work wonders on body fat, but only if you’re already very heavy, and didn’t exercise much before. What works for one person, may backfire on another. I didn’t lose any body fat with excess cardio; all I lost was muscle.

The lesson here is, if someone gives you advice, even if it’s from your doctor, do your research to make sure it’s good advice for you!

Photo: That burger and fried onion rings CAN TOTALLY set you back on losing weight. Don’t listen to friends who say one cheat meal doesn’t matter, it does!

P.S. My nutrition and diet book has scientifically-proven steps on what works to lose body fat safely, while improving health. I’ve even included my own diet plan that you can customize to fit your lifestyle. To learn more, go to

To burn body fat fast, eat this daily

SrirachaDon’t want to exercise, eat healthier, or cut calories, but need to lose bodyfat fast? You can either turn the temperature down, which causes your body to burn more calories because its expending calories heating you up, or, you can add hot spices to your meals. Hot sauce, hot peppers, chili flakes, cayenne pepper, black pepper and ginger, have shown to activate natural brown adipose (fat) tissue, which in turn, increases the metabolic rate. The higher your metabolic rate, the more fat you burn. So bring on the Franks!

P.S. If you don’t like spicy food, you can add small amounts to your meals, and, over time, you’ll acclimate to it, and can eat more of it, and even hotter spices and sauces.

Source: Greger M.D., Michael. “Boosting Brown Fat Through Diet.” Online video clip. YouTube. 7 Aug 2015. Web. 26 Sep 2017.

Photo: Sriracha sauce is extremely spicy and wonderful in Asian dishes.

P.S.S. You can get my diet book and plan today for only $14.95. Go to

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