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Click here to resubscribe so that there is no disruption of your service.

Thank you for followings us to our new hosted site of http://inspirehappy.com we endeavor to provide the best in holistic guidance for your mind, body, and spirit!

Health & Happiness,

Jeanne

Part 2: How To Workout Your Total Body with an Easy-To-Follow, Low-Impact Circuit Training Series B

Here’s your next circuit  Mr. Jones!

Program Tips:

  • Always warm up with a 10 minute walk and some flowing stretches.  Additionally you may warm up and relieve muscle tension by using a foam roller — watch tutorial.
  • If you are new to exercise or just getting back into the groove, do each circuit 1x,  2x a week.  For example do Circuit A, Monday, Circuit B, Thursday– add Circuit C when you are able.
  • When you get stronger and are more stable you can do each circuit 2-5x each,  4-5x a week.  Baby steps build up!
  • Each exercise is done for 1 minute.  Go on a slow to medium pace, doing as many as you can in a safe and controlled manner.
  • Rest between exercises for 30-45 seconds and 2-3 minutes between circuits.  Of course rest more if you need to.
  • Always have a minimum of 24 hours rest between each workout.  On the days you do not do your circuit training go for  leisurely walk for at least 30-60 minutes.
  • Don’t forget to cool down with deep relaxing stretches – watch tutorial.
  • Remember to always listen to your body, rest when you need to and challenge yourself when you can!

As with all exercise programs, you should consult a doctor before commencing to follow any or all of the exercises, poses, and stretches presented in this website.  My general advice to is to always listen to your body, approach the movements with caution and awareness, do only what you can, and do what feels good.  Do not exercise when you are feeling unwell.  The stronger, more stable, and flexible you become, the more you will be able to do.  Remember, achieving good health is a practice; stay consistent and you will see and feel results sooner than you can imagine!  Additionally, nothing beats having a professional watch over you especially when beginning an exercise program.

What you need:

  • Stable chair – use chair for support, no chair for challenge!
  • Light to medium hand weights or a big dictionary if you still have one!
  • Timer or clock with second hand.

Total Body Low Impact Circuit B:

  1. Mini-squat with core twists
  2. Staggered Squat with single arm bicep curl
    1. More support: stay in staggered step stance do squats and repeat other side — Challenge: take a step forward then squat (or baby lunge) then return to feet parallel
  3. Push-up with marching
  4. Single leg stance with same free arm and leg reach
    1. Balance: use chair for support or none for more challenge
  5. Side lunge with cross punch
    1. Legs: use chair or  narrow stance for more support
    2. Arms: option no weights
 1A.  1B.  1C.
 2A.  2B.  2C.
 3A.  3B.  3C.
 4A.  4B.
 5A.  5B.  5B. – mod

Click here to view Circuit A in the series.  Circuit C soon to follow– Subscribe so you won’t miss it!!!

BTW… You may also want to read: How To Have Proper Posture When Exercising; Knowing Your Kinetic Check Points

Comments are cool!  Kindly, leave them below!  Thank you!

How To Workout Your Total Body with an Easy-To-Follow, Low-Impact Circuit Training Series A

January was a crazy month!  February is looking uber-productive!  Of course, I got new clients who I have the pleasure of guiding to live a healthier and thus happier life.  I celebrated with existing clients new milestones of success and wrote new progressive programs for the year to keep them motivated.  Last but not least, InspireHappy launched their first of many health & lifestyle mobile and tablet apps, the InspireHappy Genie!

If you have not guessed, InspireHappy provides a holistic approach to health; guiding and advising functional fitness, proper nutrition for a persons body type, and inspiring spirit well-being throughout the journey. Here is the long awaited workout series for a total-body, low-impact, circuit workout for those who want to move efficiently and effectively without pain or injury.

Program Tips:

  • Always warm up with a 10 minute walk and some flowing stretches.  Additionally you may warm up and relieve muscle tension by using a foam roller — watch tutorial.
  • If you are new to exercise or just getting back into the groove, do each circuit 1x,  2x a week.  For example do Circuit A, Monday, Circuit B, Thursday– add Circuit C when you are able.
  • When you get stronger and are more stable you can do each circuit 2-5x each,  4-5x a week.  Baby steps build up!
  • Each exercise is done for 1 minute.  Go on a slow to medium pace, doing as many as you can in a safe and controlled manner.
  • Rest between exercises for 30-45 seconds and 2-3 minutes between circuits.  Of course rest more if you need to.
  • Always have a minimum of 24 hours rest between each workout.  On the days you do not do your circuit training go for  leisurely walk for at least 30-60 minutes.
  • Don’t forget to cool down with deep relaxing stretches – watch tutorial.
  • Remember to always listen to your body, rest when you need to and challenge yourself when you can!

As with all exercise programs, you should consult a doctor before commencing to follow any or all of the exercises, poses, and stretches presented in this website.  My general advice to is to always listen to your body, approach the movements with caution and awareness, do only what you can, and do what feels good.  Do not exercise when you are feeling unwell.  The stronger, more stable, and flexible you become, the more you will be able to do.  Remember, achieving good health is a practice; stay consistent and you will see and feel results sooner than you can imagine!  Additionally, nothing beats having a professional watch over you especially when beginning an exercise program.

Here you go Mr. Jones 😀

What you need:

  • Stable chair – use chair for support, no chair for challenge!
  • Light to medium hand weights or a big dictionary if you still have one!
  • Timer or clock with second hand.

Total Body Low Impact Circuit A:

  1. Squat with single arm shoulder press
    1. shoulders: single arm over head presss for challenge, folded arm shoulder raise for support
  2. Single leg stance with single arm back fly
    1. back: back fly for challenge, row to the waist for support
  3. Push-up
    1. the steeper the incline the more support
  4. Side lunge with upper cut
    1. legs: use chair or  narrow stance for more support
  5. Chair triceps dip
    1. add single leg kick of challenge
 1A  1B  1B – mod
 2A  2B  2B – mod
 3A  3B
 4A  4B  4C
     

Circuit B and C soon to follow– Subscribe so you won’t miss it!!!

The Top 3: How To Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick… Pass January!

It’s the last day of January 2012 and how are you at keeping up your health and fitness promises to yourself?  Are you still striking while the iron’s hot or have you begun to lose some steam?  Either way here are a few tips to keep you on track through February and maybe till the beginning of Summer when you get that second wind of motivation to get more fit! (You know why!)

1. Reflect on your goals and answer truthfully, are they realistic? If they are, go to answer A. If they aren’t, and you know if they aren’t, go to answer B.

A. Realistic goals are great because they actually can become real… it’s in the word! So now that you have this realistic goal, do you have a plan to get there?  If Yes, then work your plan and work it daily.  Work it like an inmate in the movie Shawshank Redemption and chip away till you get to your Zihuatanejo.  You hear me??? Daily. How? Have your plan written out and easily accessible to you through your phone.  When you feel like slipping or feel unmotivated- read your plan and REALize that by doing it, it will become REAL.

B. Good on you for realizing your goals aren’t the most practical for you at this moment.  It’s not about losing 50 pounds in 30 days… It’s about getting a handle on things you can control and setting achievable goals that keep you motivated to set even more aggressive goals later- when you are ready.

Tomorrow is February 1st and it’s the perfect reason to start again and this time with a realistic goal.  Here are examples of realistic goals that can start someone on the right track:

Once you have stuck to your realistic goal for 30 days, add to it!  The key is to get started with something easy so that you can feel good and successful, motivating you to continue.  Now go to answer A.

2.   Figure out what motivates you.  Is it looking sexy like Beyonce or Hugh Jackman? Or is it being super bad-ass like The Rock.  Now don’t judge yourself in a negative light, now or ever.  Looking and feeling good about yourself is the final product and that is only a good thing.  However you get there, whether it is motivated by vanity or the pain of living unhealthy to the point where disease and infirmity are knocking at your door- find your motivation.

So do you know what it is?  Great!  Now carry it with you. Get a picture of the thing and remind yourself every time you get tempted or lazy as to why you are committed to your goal.  For example, I know of a client who keeps a picture of his aunt, uncle, and dad who all got Type II Diabetes and lost part of their extremities (legs, toes) and life to remind him that not only does he want to keep  his fingers and toes, he wants to live.  Guess what- that man is healthy.

1. Be prepared.  Prepare your meals.  Prepare your running shoes.  Prepare your healthy books to read. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Why?  Because when you are prepared you have the tools to succeed- correct?  Remember in school, you prepared for a test, then you got a pretty good grade! You didn’t prepare- you had a panic attack!  So just to repeat one more time, PREPARE.

Examples:

  • Make your food  Sunday evening  for Mon-Weds.  Prepare Weds night for Thurs-Sat. etc.
  • Have your gym bag in your car or rent a locker and please keep clean gym clothes inside- please.
  • Have a healthy, motivational,  good for your brain, and keeps you motivated book on your phone.  I love Kindle. ^_^ Want some book suggestions- go to my favorite stuff!

Good luck and keep up the health and happiness!  And spread it whenever possible 😀

Top 5 Best Practices; How To Be An Awesome Personal Trainer OR Clients- READ, See If You Have One!

Having been in the fitness industry for over eight years I have seen the best and the worst business and training practices between client and trainer.  When best practices are implemented, the relationship between client and trainer is caring, goal oriented, and the use of appropriate fitness programming is in place.  When the opposite occurs, the relationship can be dysfunctional,  stagnant, and many times the use of unsuitable fitness programming  that may cause injury is prevalent.  Whether you are a trainer or a client these Top 5 Best Practices go both ways and can only take the relationship to new heights of success.

5. Start from a place of trust.  Both client and trainer must ask questions and give honest answers.  For example, clients should believe  that their trainer has their best interest in mind, trusting in the trainers knowledge and experience to execute and deliver results.  Learn more with the TOP 5 Questions You Should Ask Your Fitness Trainer.  Equally, the trainer must be able to trust the client to follow through on their agreed programming.

4. Function like a team because that is what you are.  The client and trainer are teammates with the same purpose- to achieve a goal that is mutually agreed upon.  The efforts of both parties must be  in-line and complimentary.  For example, the trainer gives his undivided attention to the client during their training hour and the client gives his or her personal best with each exercise effort.

3. Respect and monitor the effort.  Both parties should acknowledge the hard work it takes to motivate, perform, and  sustain the level of commitment it takes to reach a fitness goal.  Give each other kudos, rewards, and other acts of acknowledgment.  In addition, recognize special events such as birthdays as well as not forgetting to say thank you.  Monitor the effort by periodically taking  the clients  body composition and circumference measurements because in the end, you can’t manage what you don’t measure!  (Seeing the success on paper is pretty awesome! Makes the feeling that much more tangible!)

2. Be a Linchpin!  This can mean many things (read How to be Awesome at Anything), but basically it is about going above and beyond what the “average” person would do.  For example, when a client is traveling, a linchpin trainer would provide a hotel workout prescription via YouTube, Skype, or a quick written workout for the client to do.  The client who behaves like a linchpin is one who is on time, ready to give their personal best, and who’s actions when away from their trainer is in-line with their agreed upon goals!

1. Train safely and in support of a goal.  Trainers must train their client with consideration to their fitness level and their fitness goals because to do otherwise would be unprofessional.  Clients must follow the instructions of the trainer and give honest feedback regarding any part of the training whether it’s too challenging or not enough.  Trainers must practice progressive programming and clients must practice patience and consistency.  Through their combined efforts, the client and trainer should see measurable results .

Good luck on everyone’s 2012 health and fitness goals!

Comments are cool!  Kindly, leave them below!  Thank you!

The Latest From Paleo Traveler: Almond Tomato Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Grilled Chicken, Spaghetti Meat Sauce with Spaghetti Squash, and Crispy Fried Chicken with Butternut & Spinach Fritter in Creamy Cranberry Sauce

The Latest From Paleo Traveler:

Old World Recipes Reworked For The Neo-Caveman…err Woman!

Almond Tomato Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Grilled Chicken

pestosquashchicken

Spaghetti Meat Sauce with Spaghetti Squash

spaghettisquash

Crispy Fried Chicken with Butternut & Spinach Fritter in Creamy Cranberry Sauce

friedchickensquashfritter

Introducing the InspireHappy Genie Mobile App for Your iPhone, iTouch, & iPad

The first mobile application designed by InspireHappy to help increase love, happiness, productivity, and abundance in your life!

Imagine… Your own pocket genie that inspires you to live a healthier and happier life!  Let the InspireHappy Genie encourage and guide you throughout your day with her fun, inspirational, and motivating videos so that you can achieve better health, find love, and attract success in work and life!  To bring you happiness and inspiration is her command!

How to use:

Your InspireHappy Genie is here to be your guide.  Let her inspire you all-day by setting alerts for her to remind you to live a more fun and fulfilled lifestyle.

When setting your alert times, choose times that coincide with your needs and schedule.  For example, the alert setting for the Nourish video should be sometime in the morning; reminding you to eat a healthy breakfast!  Accordingly, the Arrive video plays for you when you are getting dressed, etc.

You may also choose to call upon your InspireHappy Genie at your leisure by  manually playing the videos when you are in need of inspiration or guidance. Feel free to call on your Genie to bring more happiness into your life at any time.

It’s not just 3 wishes with this Genie, she is here to make you feel joy and inspiration so that you can manifest your deepest desires and experience the limitless abundance of the universe.

Get your InspireHappy Genie for $0.99 at your iTunes store and enjoy the possibilities…

Be More Healthy and Confident In Your Mind, Body, and Spirit; Learn Power Poses by Amy Cuddy

A client forwarded me this seventeen minute video and well let’s just say–

who wouldn’t want super-powers?!?! 

Build confidence while keeping your body systems healthy via

lowering cortisol levels through these power poses.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that as a trainer, this is my go-to stance when I’m training.  Other members have actually called it my “cheerleader” stance, and now I like knowing that it gives me my super-woman powers and prowess!!!

Watch more educational videos on Quick.Learn.60

The New Year, Our Anniversary, and What To Expect from InspireHappy!

InspireHappy is now exactly 1 years old.  Happy anniversary to us!  We started out slow, but slow is good because we plan to be here for the marathon!  We have had over 58,000 of combined viewing and visits to our blog at InspireHappy.com and our fitness videos at Happy Body Studio on YouTube with over 500 subscriptions total from all our social media communities.  We will continue to grow by providing what you have all come to expect– knowledge made fun and relatable in the world of holistic health, fitness, and spirit well being.

What to expect in the New Year:

1. We will be releasing our first mobile app, the InspireHappy Genie which should be available in iTunes within the next few weeks.  Quickly, the app is a tool to help people live healthier and happier lives using motivational, inspirational, and fun videos.  And yes, there is a Genie!  Click here and read more about the InspireHappy Genie. *** Update: NOW Available on iTunes*** 😀

2. Our second mobile and tablet app should be available in February, another life-enhancing tool– shshsh, I don’t want to say too much, but be ready! Our team of developers having been working overtime through the holiday season and are excited to unveil their hard work!

3. We will continue blogging about holistic health, promoting science based knowledge with the holistic approach of finding the balance between mind, body, and spirit.  It’s not just workouts, not just nutrition, and not just positive thinking– it’s about finding the healthiest TOTAL YOU and here at InspireHappy that is our mission.

4. We will continue providing free workout videos that promote functional movement and understandable exercise science so that you can be equipped to meet your fitness goals in 2012 and beyond.  The next series will be dedicated to a special reader who asked for low impact / high benefit 😉 workouts that could be done in your home- stay tuned!

5. We also have launched PaleoTraveler.com.  A site dedicated to food and the love of mixing the Metabolic Typing Diet with Paleo/Primal sensibilities. We specialize in adapting and reworking old-world and international recipes that customarily used “not-so-healthy” ingredients and flip them into neoPaleo!  Visit us for your next meal idea!

Lastly, thank you in advance for your loyalty.  Through your reading, viewing, supporting, and playing with all the things we offer, you help our site run and grow.  If you didn’t notice, I’m saying “we” instead of “I” because now we are a WE which is just too cool.  So thanks again and Happy New Year to us all!

The Latest From Paleo Traveler: Chicken Croquettes, Moldavian Fish, Jambalaya, Almond Pesto Chicken, and more…

At Paleo Traveler, we have been busy cooking up hearty foods for the cold winter…

chickencroquettes

Chicken Croquettes over String Bean, Almond, and Garlic Sauce

moldavianfish

Moldavian Fish Casserole

 jambalaya

Jambalaya with Cauliflower Rice

from Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kitchen

 

 chickenparmesanChicken & Zucchini Parmesan
 bakedpestpchickenAlmond Pesto Baked Chicken over Pear & Spinach Salad  chickenbahiaChicken Bahian Style

Top 5 Things On How To Stay Healthy Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually During The Holiday Season

It’s a time for parties, crazy in-laws, and indulgent behavior…  Duh,  we know this, it’s the holidays, but how can we partake in the festivities and not lose our sanity and / or gain a dress size?!?!  Here is a full proof system, if you follow these guidelines it will surely help  stave off the unwanted effects of too much jolly or jelly! har-har

5. Prior to entering a party scene, where you know there will be lots of alcohol- name a number in your head about how many drinks you will have; be comfortable with the number- no judgments. Consider if you have to drive home or if you have to be productive the next day, then make a conscious choice.  This rule of thumb will generally help you make a good decision between getting tipsy or getting tanked.  Just to note, either is fine, we are all adults, but I find when you make a conscious decision, that decision is generally a good one.

4. The holiday table is generally  filled with good food, but sometimes I think we have been inundated with  so much information as to what is and isn’t good for us, that it has become overwhelming and people just end up saying, “screw it!”  Here are 3 things to remember that will help you make better eating choices at the holiday party:

  • Don’t worry about the fat- it’s everywhere.  Worry about the trans fat. It’s in the processed foods- so as long as it’s homemade, it shouldn’t have trans fat.  Look your host in the eye!
  • Make meat and vegetables your go-to choice for 80% of your plate. Simple!
  • Share the sweet stuff.  Make new friends if you have to, but just taste and tantalize your buds ever so briefly, then give it away.  Unless of course it’s some kind of Paleo desert which by all means- go to town!

3. It is that time to shine!  Put your best foot forward at every event you go to.  Don’t play it safe, play it like you mean it, and beautify.  Don’t get it twisted, wear the beauty that’s inside you already and show how it translates into class, creativity, and confidence.  Feel beautiful in every way you can and share the positive energy and love that emanates from putting your best-self out there.  Quickly ,when getting dressed heed these tips:

  • Do a quick workout before you go out! 10 minutes of squats, pushups, and crunches.  Trust me, not only will it boost your confidence, it will fill out your outfit in all the right places!
  • Understated is the new cool… Be noticed for you- not for some wardrobe malfunction!
  • Confidence. Confidence. Confidence. WORK IT!

2. It’s also that time where emotions can run high and low.  Many things can affect your mood, from the foods you eat  to your father-in-law, your emotional shields may go into overtime during the holiday season.  Here are 3 methods of finding your inner peace:

  • Whether it’s the first thing you do in the morning or the last things you say before you go to bed, find a way to say thank you for all the wonderful things in your life.  List them out.  It takes less than a minute, but take longer if you like =)
  • When in doubt- laugh it out! Like the silver-lining, find the funny-lining it’s so much more entertaining and it changes your perspective real quick.  It’s a lot more work to be stressed and mad when you’re laughing and smiling.  Psychology 101 LOL
  • Deep breaths and a private bathroom stall can save a person’s sanity.  In any social setting, when you feel like you just need to get away, head to the nearest stall and take some grounding breaths (slow and deep) and know that the party will be over soon.  They should make an APP locator- press here and you will be beamed away…

1. Don’t get caught up in the commercial hype of the season.  Don’t go in debt or depression over the material emphasis of our society.  Here is the truth of it:

  • Your wife/girlfriend would rather have a kind gesture of love by you either helping her with something she wants to do or by expressing your gratitude for having her in your life with a hand written letter.
  • Your husband/boyfriend would rather have a romantic evening where you tend to his every need from soup to nuts.  Take it literally or figuratively, it all boils down to some good old fashion…. home cooking!
  • Your children would rather brag about how their mom and dad spends time with them doing fun family stuff than getting those skinny jeans that will be out of style next year. Check yourself-  don’t be that parent where when their child grows up to understand a few things and says, well “they” really weren’t around… ouch!

 Make it about giving the gift of love and time; make memories that stand the test of time.

The Latest From Paleo Traveler: Poached Fish with Mango Chutney, Pomegranate Pork with Savory & Sweet Mashed Potato, and Stuffed Cabbage

The Latest From Paleo Traveler:

Old World Recipes Reworked For The Neo-Caveman…err Woman!

Poached Fish with Mango Chutney
poachedsnapper

Pomegranate Pork with Savory & Sweet Mashed Potato
pomegranatepork

Stuffed Cabbage
golubtsi1- stuffed cabbage

Perfect Posture Series: How To Fix Lower Body Imbalances; Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Complex or “Sway-Back”

Part of the Perfect Posture Series: Lower Body which will be divided in 3 posts The Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Complex, The Knees, and The Feet.  Click here for Perfect Posture Series: Upper Body with accompanying corrective exercise video.

Want perfect posture?  Do you have a sway-back from having weak abs or just bad habit?  Try this exercise program, it may just be what your spine and pelvis ordered!

Posture

Perfect posture is always a work in progress.  As such,  here is a workout program to help improve a “sway-back” posture  meaning overly articulated lumbar spine, anterior tilt of the pelvis, and a pouch-like stomach as depicted in the third posture of this picture.  Let’s assume these lower extremity static postural misalignment are more from tight and weak muscles, along with poor habits rather than a degenerative skeletal issue.

Exercise equipment needed:

36″ foam roller

Corrective Exercise Continuum

Inhibit:

  • We must first inhibit the over-active fascia and stimulate the muscle receptors by doing Self-Myofascia Release in the target areas:  hip flexor complex, quadriceps (front thigh muscles), and latissimus dorsi (big back muscle)
  • Exercise:
  1. Lying sideways perpendicular to foam roller, lay your hip bone directly on roller.  Start  rolling your way up towards wear your belt would be, slowly moving inch-by-inch seeking “tender spots of tension”
  2. Lying face down, perpendicular to foam roller, get in elbow plank position and roll from the top of your knee muscle are to your hip crease.
  3. Lying side ways, perpendicular to foam roller, lay the “area” of muscle underneath your arm pit.  Begin from your armpit and roll down, inch-by-inch towards your waist.
    • key point: stop at areas with acute tension and hold pressure for 30secs
 1.  2.  3.

Lengthen:

  • We must lengthen muscles that maybe tight through static stretching in the target areas: hip flexor complex, lattissimus dorsi, and erector spinae (low and center back muscles)
  • Exercises:
  1. Laying perpendicular to foam roller, place roller underneath sacrum (center bone upper butt area), extend one leg straight on the floor and bring the other knee towards your chest and hold stretch for 30 seconds, repeat other side.
  2. With one knee down and the other leg in table like position, reach with the same arm (knee side down) up towards the ceiling and then side bend towards the table top leg. Hold each side 30 secs.
  3. In sitting position, cross one leg over the other and twist.  When right leg crosses left, twist to the right.
  • NOTE: As you hold the stretch, draw in the stomach and feel more lengthening in the proces
 1A.  1B.
 2A.  2B.  2C.
 3A.  3B.

Activate: DO 1-2 sets of 10 reps

  • Isometric and strength exercises of glutes and ab complex:
  1. foam roller knee slides
  2. foam roller single leg raise
  3. foam roller butt kicks
 1A.  1B.
 2A.  2B.
 3A.  3B.

Integrate: DO 1-2 sets of 10 reps

  • Dynamic movement exercises + modifications:
  1. Overhead squat with foam roller over head.
  2. Modify: face wall and slowly squat down with arms over head
 1A.  1B.  1C.

Additional holistic approach to improving your posture:

Awareness:

  1. Be mindful of your posture
  2. Use a trigger technique: for ex. every time you look at your watch or use your cell phone be aware of your posture and use the zipper technique– basically, zip up the center of your body like your zipping up a wet suit– adjust, loosen, and tighten where you need to!
  3. Conscious correction:
    • Think of a postural plumb line (if you want a pdf of a postural plumb line, email me and will send you)
    • Adjust your body so that it mimics this perfect posture
    • Hold this perfect posture for 60secs

Visualize:

  1. If we were to think of who has the most beautiful posture we can say that Queens and Princesses are taught to stand upright showing off their grace and confidence
  2. Do the same, believe yourself to be regal, and or someone who wants to convey grace and confidence
  3. Stand as such and believe yourself to have perfect posture, project perfect posture, and walk with perfect posture

Check out over 60 FREE videos on my InspireHappy YouTube Channel for more posture and fitness exercises!

With belief, dedication, and consistent work, you will improve your posture and remove “sway back” from your system! Comment below and tell me how this exercise is helping you 🙂

Now read How To Have Proper Posture When Exercising; Knowing Your Kinetic Check Points

How To Get Better Balance; Learn The Top 3 Balance Exercises

What is balance?  The noun definition of balance is “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady: “she lost her balance before falling”.

From the definition we can garner the prophetic words, “Best to keep up balance lest we fall down and can’t get up!”   Do you remember the commercial of the grandma laying on the floor?!?! Look at this model, she’s totally lost her balance!  I think we can agree that young or old, being weak and unstable is not a place we want to be- ever.  More pressing, we, as in most women and some men too, want to be able to walk in 5 inch high-heels with stability and confidence.  Look on the bright side, it’s never too late to improve your balance.

In general, the muscles that we use during a balancing act, like reaching for something high up, where we have to get up on our toes, and even teeter on one leg to reach (visualize it) are not the muscles most of us work on at the gym.  Why?  Because they’re not the big sexy ones that make us look “ripped.”  Funny thing, did you know that walking and running are balancing acts?  (Obviously, look at Exhibit A on the runway…) Think about this, in walking or running, before you put the next foot down aren’t you standing on one foot?  Now it doesn’t seem so strange when someone says, “I don’t know what happened… I was just walking and I fell down!”

To simplify, let’s categorize our muscles into primary and secondary; primary being our larger muscles that help us lift heavy things like our gluteus maximus (butt muscle) and rectus femoris (thigh muscle), and secondary, being the smaller muscles that help stabilize our body and joints like the gluteus minimus and medius (deep butt muscles that helps stabilize hips) and vastus lateralis (muscle that stabilizes the knee joint).  Here are some exercises which focus on your lower extremity, secondary muscle groups to help build better stabilization.

Foot stabilization exercises: Foot Prance for 60 seconds, repeat 3-5x

 1.*articulate feet up & down  2.*hold tipsy-toe position for 2 secs  3. *Press through all your toes, especially big toe

Knee stabilization exercises: Single Leg Balance Alternate R & L Touch Down for 60 seconds each leg,  repeat 3-5x

 1. – 3.  2.*Don’t forget to stand back straight.  4. *Keep the knee bent on the standing leg when you touch down

Pelvic stabilization exercises: Single Leg Bridge for 60 seconds each leg, repeat 3-5x

 1.  2.  *Keep pelvis totally steady as you go up and down.

If you are looking to improve your balance, may I suggest also trying Pilates, yoga, and / or a virtual personal trainer to help you get started!

Stay tune for next weeks post where I talk about “imbalance”.

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The Latest From Paleo Traveler: Butternut Squash Moussaka, Chicken Shish Kebab on Kale & Quinoa, and Steamed Salmon & Asparagus in Spinach & Tarragon Sauce

The Latest From Paleo Traveler;

Old World Recipes Reworked For The Neo-Caveman…err Woman!

Butternut Squash Moussaka
butternut squash moussaka
Chicken Shish Kebab on Kale & Quinoa

sashlik - chicken shish kebab
Steamed Salmon & Asparagus in Spinach & Tarragon Sauce

salmonasparagus

Aren’t you hungry now?!?!

When Is The Best Time To Exercise? Top 3 Questions To Ask Yourself…

First, let’s just say as long as you exercise- it’s all good.  Now beyond that here are the Top 3 questions to ask yourself so you can figure out when is the right time to workout for YOU:

1. What is your energy clock like? Your energy runs in a 24 hour cycle, naturally following the course of a day.  I will use myself as an example so that you can have a better understanding of what I mean.

  • Between 6:00am-11:00am is my most effective time to do things that are brain intensive.  That is, this energy cycle for me is when my analytical and comprehension skills are functioning at their highest level; this is why I always preferred to study for school during this time.
  • Between 11:00-3:00pm is my most effective time to be physically active.  My brain and body feel like an unstoppable machine during these hours and so it’s my favorite time to workout.
  • Between 3:00pm-6:00pm is my lowest energy cycle of the day.  It is very hard for me to think, let alone get physical.  My body clock is telling me to take a nap or to slow down.
  • Between 6:00pm-11:00pm is where I get my “second-wind” and generally this energy cycle permits me to either have an “OK” workout, but  better yet, it’s great energy for cooking, or doing relaxing, and enjoyable activities like hanging out with friends.
  • Between 11:00pm-6:00am is when my body prefers to re-energize for the next day.
    • Funny thing, if I don’t sleep between 11:00pm-12:00pm, I will find my energy cycle come into its “third-wind” and I probably won’t be able to sleep until 3:00-4:00am. This is no bueno; it can throw off my whole energy cycle.

Remember, this is an example of my energy cycle- yours will be slightly different.  In order for you to find out how your energy clock works, you have to pay attention to your body, how it reacts and feels during any given time, then make a note of it.  To learn more, read up on the circadian rhythm– and yes, through practice and discipline, you can “teach” your body to have more energy when you need it.  Here is a diagram of a general 24 hour circadian rhythm cycle for the human body:

800px-Biological_clock_human.svg

2. What is realistic for your schedule?  Yes, we have to keep it real and ask ourselves, when can we actually make it to the gym?  Try to find multiple open days and times in your calendar so that one, you have choices, and two, are able to book those times with yourself, hopefully creating set-appointments that you can’t miss!

3. What does exercising mean to you?  Does it mean that it’s your way to lose weight, maintain, relieve stress, or stay youthful— maybe it’s all of those?!?!  Anyhow, answering this question will help you find the motivation to actually go to the gym, so it’s very important you answer truthfully.  Once you know what exercising means to you, then one, you will figure out when your body best likes to workout, and two, you will make it a standing appointment.

And if you need to be told when to exercise, then here is my recommendation:

  • Mornings are best for cardio intensive workouts like walking, running, cycling, or spinning.   If your goal is to lose weight, you may also try to exercise on an empty stomach so that your body will tap into your energy reserve (stored fat) rather than the food you have yet to consume.   Before your morning exercise, make sure to do a really good warm-up since your body has basically been “off” for 6-8 hours.
  • Afternoons are the best time to do weight training because your muscles, connective tissues, and joints are warmer than in the morning, having had a few hours of walking and moving around.  This is the best time to do more explosive moves because not only is your body warmer, it is also not yet too tired from having to work all day.  Also, a high-intensity mid-afternoon workout will release endorphins in your systems that can help get you over that 2:00pm-3:00pm energy slump- you know which one I’m talking about.  (I bet you there’s a study showing more people buy Starbucks coffee during this time!)
  • Evening is best for relaxing and stretching type workouts like Pilates or Yoga.  You can definitely still do strength and cardio training, perhaps through a group exercise class, but sometimes this can energize people too much, leaving them with an endorphin high and an inability to sleep.  With that said, if this is the only time you can get a decent calorie burn, by all means do it.  Then spend some time doing deep static stretches (holding for more than 30 seconds) to bring your body back to a more relaxed state.

In the end, no matter the time of day, find the motivation and just move- in the gym or outdoor.  Good health isn’t achieved with one day of exercise, it is attained through a lifetime commitment  to exercise.

Comments are cool!  Kindly, leave them below!  Thank you!

TGIF Lunch Menu: Chicken in Rice (Arroz Caldo) with Braised Brussels Sprout

This is a remake of one of my favorite Filipino comfort foods, Arroz Caldo.  Since I don’t eat a lot of rice, and although I used brown basmati rice for this recipe so a small portion feels good to me considering my “mix-type” metabolic type distinction (see below), I also added Brussels Sprouts, my 2nd favorite vegetable behind eggplant!

On the menu:  Chicken in Rice with Braised Brussels Sprout
arroz caldo1

What you need:

  1. chicken thighs
  2. sliced ginger (5 wedges thinly sliced)
  3. 1 med onion
  4. 1 tbs chopped garlic for chicken, 1 tsp for Brussels
  5. 1 can organic low sodium chicken broth
  6. 1 cup rice — I used brown which may be sacrilegious to many Filipinos- so sorry to my peeps =/
  7. sea salt
  8. fresh pepper
  9. 4 tbs butter
  10. mushrooms
  11. Brussels sprouts

Put it together:

In large pot melt 2 tbs butter, add garlic, ginger, and chicken, season chicken with a little sea salt, brown chicken for a few minutes

Add 1 can broth, 1 1/2 cups water, whole peeled onion, rice, and mushrooms- bring to boil, then change to low simmer for about 1 hour for rice to cook and soak up liquids

In skillet, melt 2 tbs butter, add garlic, and Brussels to brown- then add 3/4 cup water, cover, and cook till tender.

This is a hearty meal, great for cold and rainy days to keep you warm! Enjoy 🙂

The macronutrient ratios for the Metabolic Typing Types:

Protein Type: 70% proteins & fats (40/30) / 30% carbohydrates

Carbohydrate Type: 60% carbohydrates / 40% proteins & fats (25/15)

Mix-Type: 50% carbohydrates / 50% proteins & fats (30/20)

*In General: Protein Types should avoid Gluten, Protein & Mix-Types should have high fiber, low-to-medium starch carbs, and sprouted grains.

*There is no calorie counting in the Metabolic Typing Diet. Reason being, if you eat for your body type, your body will know when to stop.  No over-eating.  No cravings.  No depriving.

*When it is available, try to buy grass-fed, free range, organic, and sustainable, local farm grown food; certainly no GMO. Click and read why and what are the most GMO products!

Go buy The Metabolic Typing Diet book and take the test to find out what you are!

Now learn  what happens to your food after you swallow it

Comments are cool!  Recipes rock!  So share and do both below!

Zesty Steak, Barley & Portobello Salad

Cooking more than usual this week because want to bag my lunch for work.  Sometimes I am just so bored with the choices around my work area.  Anyway, looking forward to a few days of this…

On the menu: Zesty Steak, Barley & Portobello Salad
steakmushroombarley

What you need:

  1. steak tenderloin
  2. sliced large portobello mushroom caps
  3. 1 med red onion sliced in rings
  4. 1/2 cup organic pearl barley (you can also use quinoa or couscous)
  5. 1/2 cup Italian parsley
  6. 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  7. 1 tablespoon fermented soy sauce
  8. 2 tablespoons of butter
  9. 1 teaspoon garlic
  10. sea salt
  11. pepper

Put it together:

Cook in a small pot 1/2 cup of barley with 1 1/2 cup of water on low simmer. Takes about 30-40 minutes.

Rub steak with salt and pepper. Using a grill like pan melt 2 tablespoon of butter.  Cook steak to your desire, I suggest 3-4 minutes for a thick steak on each side.

In separate skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter add garlic and mushrooms and quickly saute till mushrooms are slightly tender then place in salad bowl to cool.

Once steak is done, remove and place on cutting board.  To the grill pan add 1 tablespoon butter and caramelize onions.

Slice steak length wise and add to salad bowl. Add chopped or loosely torn Italian parsley into bowl.

Mix dressing by adding vinegar, soy, and pepper for taste.

Add cooked barley and onions to salad bowl, toss with dressing.  Can be served slightly warm, but I prefer cold- so cover and refrigerate and eat for lunch the next day like me 😉

The macronutrient ratios for the Metabolic Typing Types:

Protein Type: 70% proteins & fats (40/30) / 30% carbohydrates

Carbohydrate Type: 60% carbohydrates / 40% proteins & fats (25/15)

Mix-Type: 50% carbohydrates / 50% proteins & fats (30/20)

*In General: Protein Types should avoid Gluten, Protein & Mix-Types should have high fiber, low-to-medium starch carbs, and sprouted grains.

*There is no calorie counting in the Metabolic Typing Diet. Reason being, if you eat for your body type, your body will know when to stop.  No over-eating.  No cravings.  No depriving.

*When it is available, try to buy grass-fed, free range, organic, and sustainable, local farm grown food; certainly no GMO. Click and read why and what are the most GMO products!

Go buy The Metabolic Typing Diet book and take the test to find out what you are!

Now learn  what happens to your food after you swallow it

Comments are cool!  Recipes rock!  So share and do both below!

What Is A Kegel and How Do I Do It?

First, don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know what a Kegel is–  you are not alone.  Both my male and female students of late have been slowly admitting to me that they don’t know what I’m talking about when I tell them to do a “Kegel” during their Pilates exercise.  Although it is an  important exercise, and yes to both sexes, it’s not something we naturally do.labled_pelvic_floor_and_trunk2a

The Kegel is an exercise to strengthen your PC muscles (pubococcygeus) also referred to as your pelvic floor or pelvic diaphragm named after its inventor, gynecologist Dr. Arnold Kegel. These muscles are located on the base of your pelvis ergo your “pelvic floor.”  Imagine cupping your hand with the heel of your palm on your pubic bone and your fingers towards your sacrum and that is the region the Kegel exercise is targeting.  The exercise was discovered to treat urinary incontinence, aid in support of pregnancy and child birth, reduce premature male ejaculation, and enhance sexual function in both sexes.  “A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (March 18, 2008) reports that pelvic floor muscle training, in conjunction with bladder training, resolved the symptoms of urinary incontinence in women.” A total of 25 million American men, women, young, and old have reported suffering from urinary incontinence (involuntary loss of bladder control).

How to do Kegels…

When you are first discovering this “area” of your body, it is best to start in a seated position. Find a comfortable place to sit and try to relax all the muscles in your body.  Start with your feet and work your way up the body until you can feel loose and relaxed.  Next visualize your pelvic floor, you may also gently cup or hover your hand around this area and begin by sending a message from your brain to this area with the command of “open and close”.  The act itself will feel like a quick isometric contraction and then release of the muscles in this area.  It seems to help people when they are told, “it’s like you are trying to stop your pee midstream” and how would you tell your body to do that.  There are more complex ways to do your Kegel, some involving specially designed apparatuses, but studies have shown no conclusive data that the use of such equipment actually improve pelvic floor strength.  Once you have mastered the “open/close” exercise I have described, you can also improve the rate of speed at which you can do it and add other muscle groups in the region from your gluteus (butt) to your transverse abdominus (deep ab muscle) into the isometric contraction.

When you are able to command the contractions with ease, you can incorporate them in your Pilates exercise.  Utilizing the Kegel in Pilates helps to increase body awareness of this region, which so happens to be part of your deep core muscles.  By developing more efficient motor signals (the ability to send messages from your brain to your muscle) to your pelvic region via concentration and Kegel contractions, you will increase the strength of your pelvic muscles and add to your total core strength.   Not only will you find your Pilates practice greatly improved with the addition of the Kegel exercise, you will derive the benefits of preventing urinary incontinence,  improving sexual function, and creating a stronger core.

So what are you waiting for?! Do you some Kegels now 😉

Resource: Kegel exercise

If you liked this article you may also like: Top 10 Reasons To Try Pilates!

Comments are cool!  Kindly, leave them below!  Thank you!

Sunday Food Prep: Braised Pork Chops with Apples and New Potatoes Braised in Sour Cream

Also called: Svinina s Yablokami v Pive y Molodaya Kartoshka Tushonaya v Smetane

By the way, in Russian, “v Pive” means in beer, but instead I used organic 100% apple juice.  Yes, this dish takes way more than 30 minutes to prepare, but I’m not complaining because this dish, this scrumptious meal, left me and my BF in a state of euphoria, with a sense of deep satisfaction with life– in effect, glow-bugs!

On the menu:  

Braised Pork Chops with Apples and New Potatoes Braised in Sour Cream
apple porkchops

What you need:

  1. 6 pork loin chops
  2. 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  3. 3 tbs butter
  4. 1 1/2 tsp of garbanzo bean flour (good source of protein and fiber)
  5. 1 cup organic 100% apple juice
  6. pinch of sugar
  7. 3 cloves
  8. 1 onion sliced into rings ( I used shallots)
  9. 1 tart apple sliced in rings
  10. 1 1/2 tsp of dark brown sugar
  11. new potatoes (little size potatoes)
  12. 1 cup sour cream
  13. 1 can organic chicken broth low sodium
  14. 1 tbs chopped garlic
  15. 1 cup chopped dill
  16. sea salt
  17. fresh pepper

apple porkchops2
Put it together:

Here is how it all went down and how it will all be ready at the same time if you cook by numbers 😉

  1. prep pork chops by rubbing ginger, salt, pepper then sprinkle with garbanzo flour
  2. next use iron skillet that can be used in the oven, and melt 2 tbs of butter
  3. use medium size pot and parboil potatoes in water and salt (about 8 minutes)
  4. place pork chops on skillet 5 minutes each side to brown
  5. remove pork chops from skillet and set aside, in same skillet add 1 cup apple juice, cloves, pinch of sugar and bring to boil
  6. preheat oven 325 degrees
  7. drain potatoes then add chicken broth, sour cream, to bring to boil, then put in low simmer till tender (30-40 minutes)
  8. place pork chops back in skillet, cover and place in oven for 20 minutes
  9. in separate little skillet, place 1 tbs butter and brown onions, set aside
  10. this would be a good time to: cut apple slices in circles, chop dill, and do some cleaning up so you’re not left with crazy amount of dishes…
  11. now remove cover on pork chops and place slice apples and onions on each chop and pour over some of the sauce and place back into the oven for another 20 minutes, once in while pouring sauce over chops and apples
  12. 5 minutes before potatoes done, add chopped garlic
  13. put oven on broil
  14. remove pork chops from oven, sprinkle brown sugar over chops and apples and place in broiler for few minutes till glazed
  15. turn off potatoes, do quick mash, to break apart potatoes, mix in dill
  16. plate pork chops and potatoes and pour over a little of sauce and serve– divine!

I hope you feel the same way we did after this meal… love.

The macronutrient ratios for the Metabolic Typing Types:

Protein Type: 70% proteins & fats (40/30) / 30% carbohydrates

Carbohydrate Type: 60% carbohydrates / 40% proteins & fats (25/15)

Mix-Type: 50% carbohydrates / 50% proteins & fats (30/20)

*In General: Protein Types should avoid Gluten, Protein & Mix-Types should have high fiber, low-to-medium starch carbs, and sprouted grains.

*There is no calorie counting in the Metabolic Typing Diet. Reason being, if you eat for your body type, your body will know when to stop.  No over-eating.  No cravings.  No depriving.

*When it is available, try to buy grass-fed, free range, organic, and sustainable, local farm grown food; certainly no GMO. Click and read why and what are the most GMO products!

Go buy The Metabolic Typing Diet book and take the test to find out what you are!

Now learn  what happens to your food after you swallow it

Comments are cool!  Recipes rock!  So share and do both below!