About Me

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I believe in an organic approach to health, including personal accountability. I am a personal trainer, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and I teach bootcamps, back and abs classes, TRX suspension training and Piyo- an athletic blend of yoga pilates, dance and more. I graduated Sonoma State University with my BS in Kinesiology, exercise science, and am in the process of getting my MBA from JFKU. California isn't a place- its a state of being ;)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More than 50 percent of Americans could have diabetes or prediabetes by 2020

Many people notice a sensitivity to food. They get cranky, irritable, some get headaches, and many other symptoms when they haven't eaten. Sometimes this type of thing gets extreme, and is made worse by eating foods that are quick sugars (also known as high on the glycemic index). Obesity coupled with food sensitivity are known precursors to diabetes. A correct diet, exercise and healthy body weight are easy ways to prevent the perils of type 2 diabetes. Which includes insulin shots, poor eyesight, poor circulation, need to inject insulin, dialysis, and eventually amputation or death. I strongly urge you to seek advice and help from fitness experts to make sure you're not part of the 1 in 2 that has this disease!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Being sick and working out

With the rain coming and upcoming winter holidays I wanted to remind everyone when to stop pushing yourself in a go-go-go society. If you are sick and it is below your neck, ie throat,lungs, or stomach don't work out! If it is congestion sometimes the air being forced through the airways helps to loosen it, as well as get the blood pumping and flushing out toxins.
Here are some at home remedies to try if you find yourself in an extreme congestion
1. saline rinses (netti pot, non drug sprays, etc)
2. steam rooms/hot shower 2x-3x a day
3. hot tea
4. spicy foods
5. maintain proper hydration
6. multi-vitamin
7. ecchinacea

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Exercise helps relieve Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can be debilitating. It changes who you are and how you live your normal daily life. While this is an increasing disease, its important to rememeber that it happens to whole people. A person is always going to be a unit comprised of many interacting interdependent systems. While something like chronic pain may be an affliction from a specific injury- you can't just take the part of the body away without looking at the bigger picture. This article found on yahoo describes some things that help chronic pain sufferers and as usual- Exercise is listed. Doctors strongly recommend exercise for many ailments, and despite being in pain, some form of exercise will aid in the relief by making the WHOLE body function better as a unit. Read the article for more ways to relieve chronic pain. And as always- consult your physician and fitness professional before embarking on any fitness program.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Enthusiasm- or lack thereof

Have you ever heard of FLOW? as in "ya man, it just flowed" or "go with the flow"? Sometimes when things are right- it just flows. But what's going on when it doesn't? Why is it that we drag our feet and just aren't enthusiastic about our workouts?
Obviously there are more complicated reasons, and some very straightforward. However, motivation and enthusiasm are two things you have despite your physical status. A lot of how and why we accomplish things is determined by our belief in our own abilities to do it. If a person thinks something is too hard, and they maybe aren't strong enough- this makes them anxious and unhappy. By making an activity do-able or simply by *thinking* we can do it, we can just flow. By creating a positive enjoyable experience, this rewards our new habits.
Caution- Despite any amount of newly found enthusiasm, keep your workouts at an attainable and realistic level. I see people all the time who are SUPER enthusiastic and want to workout 7 days a week and lose their 50lbs in 1 month because they are just that movitated and hardworking. This isn't realistic and is setting them up for failure. By the end of the first two weeks the muscles haven't appropriately recovered and now overuse injuries are looming. This is why speaking to your doctor or fitness profressional is so essential to starting a new program. Rememebr when I said enthusiasm and motivation are seperate of your physical status? Your body is only able to adjust and adapt at certain levels. Whether it can do more or less then you're giving it is entirely dependent on your personal optimal level of stimulation. keep the motivation up, find inspiration and take it slow to keep it fun!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Do you remember?

I was perusing the internet again, and came across an article on ways to combat memory loss. Many people don't realize that not only does aerobic exercise make your face red but it increases blood flow all over your body. This inreased flow also means your thinking muscles are getting more oxygen, nutrition and removal of waste products! if you can buff up your skeletal muscles with exercise only makes sense that your brain gets some benefits too!
Great article below from yahoo on memory and other ways to increase it/prevent alzheimers


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Closer look at CrossFit

Just like any exercise modality, its important to have the facts. Some things are more legit then others- some are just gimmicks. CrossFit involves high intensity workouts which can burn a high number of calories and help cross train to be good at anything instead of using the specificity principle to be good at one thing. I recall bringing crossfit to my exercise physiology teacher wondering if what they were doing was any good. ACE was also curious and did a study->Link below.
While crossfit can provide an amazing challenge to those who are already familiar with olympic lifting and high intensity workouts, I wouldn't recommend it to a novice exerciser or people with previous joint injuries. The idea of doing as many repititions as possible goes beyond normal fatigue and can lead to poor form which puts the participant further at risk. It also kicks your butt and gets results. Use caution when beginning any new exercise program- and make sure its something you enjoy!


Thursday, October 14, 2010



Calories count- even when they are in liquid form! beware of sneaky diet saboteurs and remember to eat your fruits and vegetables to get all the benefits, and aim for foods/drinks with less then 5 grams of sugar!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New Habits

New workout routines are hard to just start up and maintain. New Year's Resolutions are just around the corner, and the majority of those who started strong last year have fallen off the wagon. With impending food obstacles, its important to develop health as a habit beforehand! Many times people won't see the value in starting a new habit unless there is something that makes it real to them. The Health Belief Model states:
"... a person's health-related behavior depends on the person's perception of four critical areas: the severity of a potential illness, the person's susceptibility to that illness, the benefits of taking a preventive action, and the barriers to taking that action. The model also incorporates cues to action (e.g., leaving a written reminder to oneself to walk) as important elements in eliciting or maintaining patterns of behavior. The construct of self-efficacy, or a person's confidence in his or her ability to successfully perform an action... has been added to the model, perhaps allowing it to better account for habitual behaviors, such as a physically active lifestyle." -http://www.csupomona.edu/~jvgrizzell/best_practices/bctheory.html

So what this means is that if its not important to a person, or if they don't think they can accomplish it, they won't do it. Seems like common sense. By making it a habit, it becomes bonded into our daily regime. Some things are so engrained in us at an early age that its nearly impossible to break. For example- brushing our teeth. Our society has established that as young kids, we brush our teeth and it turns into a twice daily part of life. If fitness is developed into such a habit that it feels wrong to not have it in our life that day, then the battle is won without it even being a battle.

Ways to make it a Habit-
*Write it on the calendar in a public highly visible place "g" or amount of calories burned.
*Go at the same time of day on alternating days/daily
*keep a fully stocked gym bag in the car/by the door
*Have a workout buddy or hire a trainer- you are 50/50 going to go on your own, and 99% going to go if you PAID someone to meet you there. and it offers guidance
*make fitness your coping mechanism- many times people grab a drink, etc to cool off, go for a run/workout instead
*reward yourself for accomplishing a set amount of gym attendance per week

Good Luck and Happy Workouts :)

a Little Background- The health and Fitness Story of Me

I'm pretty sure @ this point I have no "followers" but regardless.
As a child I was active, I danced ballet, played soccer, played most sports after school on the "b" team. I was always outside with my brothers and cousins and neighborhood kids, trying this sport or that. In high school, I would go to the gym everyday, but hated PE. I would never have titled me an athlete, in fact there were many other titles I'm sure I earned.
My first year of college I didn't play soccer for the school because I was actually kinda a slacker. The first year of college actually changed my life. My aunt who was then 48, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Watching what cancer did to her was one of the worst things I have ever seen a human endure. She passed away June 7, 2004. Shortly after on July 3rd, my mother died from unknown causes at the age of 46. Growing up I had often seen my mother struggle with her health,weight and emotional health. Her side of the family was prone to obesity and many other health problems. When I found out she had died, I was less then shocked. The last of the life changing events was a car accident that I was severely injured on Sept 4, 2004. Another car came into my lane and hit us head on. While I was less injured then other passengers, my attempt to press the brakes left my ankle shattered. My ankle/left leg was put back together with pins and screws, I had staples closing both knees, and broken bones in my right foot. Spending those next 3 months unable to walk, and do much besides lay in bed due to pain medication were some of the toughest moments in my life. There were times I was in a wheelchair and was often told I would never run again.
I realized that life is a choice. I chose to regain my strength in my leg and health. I was determined to lose the 20 lbs I gained from being immobile and could be found on a recumbent bike with the walking boot on. I didn't know anything about weightlifting or the proper way to work out, but I did know how to eat right. I began to take courses in nutrition during this time. My journey through junior college involved gaining strength to walk and hike in beautiful San Luis Obispo, eventually run, and get back to waitressing. Unfortunately the screw in my ankle began to back out, and the head of the screw could be felt and was very painful. In June 2007 I had my last ankle surgery, with a longer then expected recovery of 6 months instead of 2 weeks. This marked my move back to northern California to Attend Sonoma State

Once at Sonoma State, I learned about anatomy, how the body ages and works, and got my Personal Training certification in 2008. My degree in Pre-Physical therapy and determination helped me strengthen my once smashed ankle to the point of being able to leg press 270+ pounds 3 sets of 10, and run for over 45 minutes. In the future I plan on running a 5k, and 10k. Determination, dedication, passion and personal accountability helped me accomplish these things. I have the threat of a short life looking over my head genetically, but following the lead of my father, staying active and taking care of my health will help me reach old age. I get excited every time I workout that I am blessed enough to be able to not just stand but move and challenge my muscles and bones in new and exciting ways. I hope to inspire others and share the hope I know exists!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

If you do the same thing, you will get the same results

During a few different conversations this concept has come to light, along with "work smarter, not harder"
Many times people have habits that equate to certain results. Some are good, some are bad, and some are just mediocre. In order to excel, we have to try new things and break the mold.
The benefits of doing the same "good" thing is that you do get the same "good" results. Many times this can be a health habit that people stop doing! In order to stay fit, maintaining some good habits is essential. On the flipside, the human body adapts and the same results are no longer enough to recieve the new level of stimulation our bodies need. Also, sometimes "good" can be frustrating when we want "great". This is why the fitness market is ever developing new equipment and exercise classes. (and this is why things like the TRX are so beneficial, they are new and ever challenging because the amt of exercises are never limited). if you know that hiking for an hour everyday makes you fit and healthy, then do the same thing to get the same results!!
Other bad habits get the same bad results. If you dont want to burn your hand, don't touch the stove! Despite the seemingly obvious answer that sitting on the couch eating junk will make you gain weight, once a certain level of acheivement is reached, laziness can set back in.
This months challenge is to do new things to get new results. The potential is worth it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back and Abs workout (9/8/10)

leg lowers- 10
bicycles- 30sec, rest, 30 sec
reverse crunches 3 sets of 10
crunches 10
opp arm touches-10/side
butterfly crunches-3x10
butterfly w rotation -2x10
crunches 5
russian twists 2x16
double crunch 3x10
oblique dbl crunch 2x8/side
reverse bridge 20sec, 10 raises with each leg
side plank- 2x30sec per side
up downs 2x10
kneeling opposite knee/elbow touches2x8 per side alternating
Plank w leg raises, 2x20s
Mt Climbers 2x30s

Monday, September 6, 2010

oh hello detox


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

sample ab workout for beginner

This was for a small class- about 20 ppl, average age was 40. Not the most intense hardcore workout, but a good place for a begginner to spend about half hour on their core withouth any equipment. Always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program, and form is everything, Using the muscles instead of momentum
Plank- 20 seconds, rest for 5, 20 seconds, rest for 5, 20seconds
(rest is sitting back on your heels in childs pose
Opposite arm and leg touchs- On all 4, bring right hand directly out from shoulder, left leg directly back from hips,cul in to have meet elbow to knee- 10 times, switch sides, repeat
Right Side Plank for 20sec- rotating to center plank for 20sec, and then left side plank for 20sec. repeat for a total of 3x,
child's pose- 5 seconds
superman 20 sec, rest 5sec, total of 3x
Mt climber's- 1 minute
bicycles, 30 sec, rest 5, repeat
oblique crunch- lay legs to right side, hips stacked, shoulders still flat on mat, curl til shoulder blades are off mat, staring directly at top hip. 10 each side, repeat.
15 crunches
reverse crunch- 2x15
reverse bride, 15 sec, raise right leg, raise and lower 8 ex per leg, then roll down 1 vertebrae at a time
bring heels toward bottom, raise shoulder blades off mat, keep hands at sides, touching each heel ike a turtle stuck on its shell
30 sec, 2x
15 crunches, 10 crunches, 5 crunches
>russian twises- 2x30sec
legs in the air, bring right hand to left knee, 10x each side, 10 reverse crunches, 10x each side,10 reverse crunches.
child's pose, upward dog, legs lowered to right looking over Left arm, switch. and do some cardio <3

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You're a what? Whats s CSCS?

Recently I took an exam, the CSCS. Many people don't know much about it, from their website here is some information.

Scope of Practice
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCSs) are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. They conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs and provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention. Recognizing that their area of expertise is separate and distinct, CSCSs consult with and refer athletes to other professionals when appropriate.

The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) program was created in 1985 to identify individuals who possess the knowledge and skills to design and implement safe and effective strength and conditioning programs for athletes in a team setting. The credentialing program encourages a higher level of competence among practitioners and raises the quality of strength training and conditioning programs provided by those who are CSCS certified.

Today, more than 21,000 professionals from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds hold this prestigious credential. This diverse group includes strength coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, personal trainers, physicians, chiropractors, researchers and educators. The CSCS is the only strength training and conditioning certification to be nationally accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and has been nationally accredited since 1993.

Registrants must submit an original, official transcript of their academic work, showing attainment of at least a bachelor's degree (BS/BA) or chiropractic medicine degree granted by an accredited institution.
(to clarify Bachelor's degree in the feild)

Its all about the heart

Being a personal trainer is about FAR more then just telling people to do push ups. So often I feel undervalued for the service I provide. Usually the people who don't value this type of thing aren't at a stage where they are committed to their health goals.
I feel like our energy, vibe whatever you wanna call it manifests itself in so many different ways. When you are happy in your life, you take good care of yourself and the things around you. Many times people come to me because they need to do the action so their heart will follow. Make no mistake fitness is about heart. literally and emotionally. The problem with doing an action so your heart will follow is that many times we build walls and barriers which are difficult to overcome.
Its about loving and respecting your body, accepting it for the place its at, and being willing to nurture it to become a partner instead of an obstacle. When we are in good health, the ball and chains falls off. There is no more "i can't bc my blank hurts" instead its "what can i try now?"
I had one lady who was always taking care of others first, and she had terrible back pain and was very anxious and just felt crummy. Her workouts with me were her "me time". By commiting to personal training she was committing to her self. She would leave smiling, we always had a great time, and she lost some weight while she was at it.
I can't re-invent the wheel. I can't make someone WANT to workout, I can't workout for someone else. What I can do is provide the tools and information, a well planned, and effective program, accountability and support.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

In my excitement over the wonderful and healthy groceries I purchased it occurred to me another way to explain how we should view the choices we make about our food. In moving back to walnut creek, some of my friends growing up didn't make good choices, and in general I avoid bad influences. I don't hang out with people who are going to get me in trouble, or with whom I would be guilty by association. Everyone knows to keep good company, it reflects upon you.
Well keep good food company as well. There are diet culprits and saboteurs, when grocery shopping, these types of food needs to be kept out!
If I know I am allowed one cheat meal, and that I will be working all weekend, I plan on purchasing lunches to bring with me that don't defeat my diet. They keep the bad influences out! This is relatively easy and cheap to do. For breakfast, cereal is convenient, quick, and cheap. Starting off with a good breakfast gives me the energy I need and helps maintain a constant blood sugar level. Special K has a new protein one I'm giving a shot. Let's start the calorie count... To lose weight, for my ht, activity level, weight and goals my budget is 1600-1800. Breakfast =300. I can have a naked or odwalla juice on my 10 minute break and 2 60cal string cheeses, so 10 minute break =350 lunch break is a bit bigger meal, salad (250cal) and a sandwich (200-300cal). That's about 1200 cals to get me through my entire day. This also allows more freedom from dinner, which now can be a heavier meal weighing in at 400-600 calories.
When grocery shopping, I didn't have all of this planned out by the numbers because I have made a lifestyle of eating well. I knew I needed to eat one salad a day, I LOVE special K. I also knew I'd need some sugar and protein on my break, and that I'd be starving by my lunch break so I'd want more.
When shopping I did deliberate on some of my "cheat" choices. I do have a sweet tooth, so I got blueberries to satisfy that urge, but that would also do something good for me nutritionally. I got sun chips to have with salsa, and I got whole wheat bunnies by Anne's organic food. The thing is I looked at the 100 calorie packs, and knew they'd give me a sugar spike then let me down... and ultimately not be a "team player" for my goals. They'd be like inviting criminals into my nutritional home. $60 dollars of groceries that would keep my diet, energy and budget on track with only 2 minutes of planning sets me up for success!
So the key points, make your food work for you (recognize healthy choices and make them), know what you need going in, and keep good company :)

Do negative calorie foods really exist?

I love this article! it clarifies what negative calorie foods really are, and at the end gives a summed up list of foods that anyone trying to lose weight or get healthy. Its a MUST READ

Do negative calorie foods really exist?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


One of the things I enjoy most about Personal Training is that I watch as people become empowered to change their lives. While life in general does through obstacles in our ways, its important to remember that with fitness, we do have a certain level of control that deeply benefits our lives. The control we have is behavior change. If a personal willingly ends a bad behavior, they lose the negative consequences, and even better if they ADD a good behavior they are rewarded. Over time even the smallest things add up.
Whether its self esteem gained by being the change we needed, or just simply the change and empowerment, fitness has a place in everyone's life

Thursday, May 13, 2010

the good restuarant

I don't know why all my analogies and comparisons come back to food. Maybe its because its so universal.
While introducing my clients to the gym, I always take time to point out the free weight/dumbbell area. I also point out all the "intimidating" buff men/women. "look how in shape they are... they are very muscular" I'll say to my clients. They are so muscular because what they are doing works. Then we will walk to the machine area. "now look at the shape of these people." While there are obviously muscular people that also use the machines, they are primarily in the free weight area.
Areas in the gym are like a good restaurant. When a place has amazing food and good service, its always full and busy. People want to eat there because it looks good. No one wants to eat in a place where people are running out holding their stomachs, or a place that is mysteriously empty on a Friday night around dinner time. We know without over analyzing that a deserted restaurant is a bad sign, that no one wants to eat there.
But what about the gym? We see the results that are given by the free weights, and the dedication of those participants. So being afraid of the most popular parts of the gym is like being afraid to eat at the popular restaurants.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Many people do not realize that their health problems are much like moldy leftovers in the back of the fridge. If you leave something small and moldy in the back of the fridge and just pretend its not there, it will never go away. Not only will the problem still be there, but it will become worse and worse turning into a much larger more significantly gross tupperwear full of mold. If the leftovers had just been thrown out on day 5, the tupperwear just goes into the dishwasher, business as usual... but if not, the mold covered tupperwear must now be emptied, soaked in bleach, scrubbed and scraped before going into the dishwasher. and not in the fun easy way either.
Same thing with the human body. something as small as 10 extra pounds can be easily taken care of. However when its ignored and 10 turns into 20, turns into 50... then the severity of the problem is much worse. It can turn into a life threatening disease, and is not so easily or enjoyably taken care of. Now it has turned into a battle. things like high blood pressure, colon cancer, heart disease and diabetes are all connected too obesity, and with each of those problems many more risks like blindness and stroke are also on the coattails.
Many people take for granted their health and don't do what they should or could to help themselves. The road to wellness is more then just a workout or some green veggies, but its mostly mental. You have to have the motivation, dedication and passion to do it. These are traits we all want to have for life in general, so why not cherish our own lives and give our bodies the love and respect they need.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

the kitchen

Your body is like a kitchen. Lets say you clean your kitchen once really super well. it looks great, but then as the week goes by, you don't touch anything. by the time its a week later, the kitchen is trashed. Now imagine that you clean up the crumbs after your self, you do the dishes one day, and throughout the week you wipe down the counters. By the time the next week comes, your kitchen is not destroyed. Its like this with a rounded out workout program. if you don't do your dishes, your kitchen is nasty. if you don't do your cardio, wts, stretching and keep your fridge clean (aka nutrition) your body wont be healthy. just one of these things alone won't work. wooo let's go do some wts

Hot potatoes

I was telling a client about how many reps and sets they needed to reach their goals. I was trying to explain that a workout has to be hard to be any good, and I was thinking about it... if everyone could be buff without trying hard, well then there would be buff couch potatoes. Hot couch potatoes... why they'd be HOT POTATOES