Archive for the ‘Prevention’ Category

“Help! My Motivation Is Missing – How Can I Get It Back?”

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Getting your motivation back couldn’t be easier.

It’s simply a matter of “choosing between what you want NOW, and what you want MOST.”

Do you believe that?

I read that quote recently, somewhere, but since I can’t remember where, I’m unable to give the author credit.

Anyway, I get it.

Yet even if you get it, too, you may be hard pressed to believe it’s that easy, or actually put it into practice. Especially now, when we’re well into 2016, and all of those intentions made eight or so weeks ago are gone.

Here are three ideas to get you back on track.

  1. Identify what you want most, more than anything, when you think about your long-term health. Is it. . .
  • Permanent weight loss?
  • Eradication, avoidance, or management of disease?
  • Taking no or minimal medications?
  • Aging strong – the ability to do anything, anytime, anywhere?

Whatever “it” is that you want most, that’s your decision driver.

  • Do you want the extra cookie or your clothes to fit better?
  • Do you want to stay up an extra hour or be able to get up and exercise?
  • Do you want to load up on sugar, fat, salt, and preservatives, or eat to reduce the risk of a cancer recurrence?

You decide what you want most. You act with intention. You get the outcome you want most.

  1. Create a “Jar of Awesome!”

Awesome Jar

Jar of Goodness 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wrote in my January enewsletter about the “Jar of Awesome”. Essentially, take a jar (a BIG one), label/decorate it with “Jar of Awesome” – or something close – on the outside. For the remainder of 2016, every time you do something awesome for your health, fitness, or nutrition – write it down on a slip of paper and feed it to the jar. At the end of each month (or the year, if you can wait that long), dump out the contents and review all of your awesome accomplishments. Bam! Instant motivator.

3. Use a visible tool that speaks to YOU and works for YOU.

Donna Calendar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my clients came to the studio last week with this calendar. She fills out a sheet for each week, recording all of the actions done to support improvement in the areas of her life she’s working on: exercise, meals, balance, blood sugar testing. She found this calendar at Walgreen’s, for heaven’s sake! It’s not fancy, it’s not expensive, it’s not high-tech. . .but she knew it would work for her, because it spoke to her through its simplicity.

And there you have it. Three ideas to help you in “choosing between what you want NOW, and what you want MOST.”

I hope this helps – let me know if and how. I’d love to know about your successes!

P.S. Did you enjoy this post? If so, please share on social media! [Follow me: Twitter @cathylemanrd]

 

 

“Celebrating Sue Wilsey – NutriFit’s January 2016 Client of the Month!”

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Sue Wilsey knew that it was time to make the move to get healthier. Lots riding on her “feeling” better in her skin, and of course, improving her overall health; her daughter’s upcoming wedding, plus a “milestone” birthday for Sue, herself.

Read on to be inspired by Sue’s commitment to getting back to fit, and how we at NutriFit are privileged to play a role!

SUE Client of the Month

  1. What is your favorite exercise and why?

So happy that Emily put those pink boxing gloves on me. Great way to sweat and blow off some steam.

 

  1. What is your least favorite exercise and why?

I have a nagging knee issue that hinders my success at balancing exercises. I’m not going to give up on those however.

 

  1. What fitness achievement are you most proud of?

Beginning this journey. For the first time in my almost 60 years on this planet, I actually look forward to my workouts and miss them on my days off.

 

  1. What goals or challenges do you have set for yourself now?

To add at least one day of doing strength exercises at home, now that I’m getting the hang of them. I also want to add a day or two of yoga and more walking!

 

  1. What do you like most about NutriFit Personal Training?

Cathy and Emily really care and it motivates me and makes me accountable.

 

  1. Do you have any advice for prospective NutriFit Personal Training clients?

Don’t waste any more money on joining gyms you never go to or buying DVDs you never watch. I’m approaching this as a very valuable fitness education, one that will remain a part of my life forever. What is a better investment than in a healthier you?

 

 

 

 

 

(w)Ringing Excuses Out Of The Old Year, And Leaving Them Behind.

Friday, January 1st, 2016

As I write this missive in anticipation of the final day of 2015, I’m recalling the multitude of reasons people have shared with me throughout the year as to why they don’t take better care of themselves.

The litany of “yes but’s”, “if only’s”, and “I can’t’s” littering the previous 12 months is enough to goad any mere mortal doing my job into throwing up her hands in an act of despair and surrender.

Fortunately, I’m no mere mortal – or so I like to think.

My unwavering personal and professional belief is that every person has the ability to elevate their health from any level; and because I’ve seen it demonstrated time and again, I can say with 100 percent confidence and conviction that excuses be damned, it’s never too late to care!

I’ve had the inordinate privilege of walking the path of improved health and wellness with so many clients this past year, helping them slay excuses left and right, and I feel incredibly grateful for the lessons they’ve taught ME along the way.

Like, for example, the “Turkey Pan Process.”

One of my newer personal training clients told me about encouraging a friend who is considering engaging the services of a fitness professional (a friend who has long struggled with his weight, fitness and health) to work with someone who will hold him accountable and call him out on his excuses – something she feels is absolutely essential (and one of the main reasons she’s working with US) when undertaking the “turkey pan process.”

Which is this.

Say you’ve prepared a gorgeous turkey for your holiday meal, a turkey enjoyed immensely by all in attendance, a turkey designated “the best ever.” Yet once the festivities are over and you’re faced with the dregs of turkey cookery, are you thinking about how delicious that turkey was? Of course not!

You’re face-to-face with a cold roasting pan full of cold turkey juice. Blobs of grease. A layer of fat.
Charred turkey bits. In effect, your pan is A DISGUSTING MESS!

The mere thought of cleaning it is enough to make you want to toss the pan and simply purchase a replacement. But because it’s a family heirloom, something that HOLDS VALUE, no way could you do that. So you begin to clean.

You dump out the juice, scrape out the grease and the fat, dislodge the charred turkey bits. And as you begin to make your way through the sludge, you see it – a small, shiny twinkle of that beautiful heirloom roasting pan, winking at you through the diminishing turkey sludge, and it encourages you to keep scrubbing and cleaning and scraping, because in the end, what are you left with?

A shiny, sparkly, beautiful roasting pan that you take pride in tucking away until the next big turkey roasting occasion.

And as my client shared, to her, that’s what it’s like when starting back on the path to health. You have to dig and scrape and work your way through the sludge of an unhealthy body, scrubbing and cleaning until you begin to find that shiny bit of healthy – at which point you’re encouraged to KEEP GOING.

And finding that shiny bit of healthy doesn’t take that long, really, once you get over the hurdle of JUST STARTING.

However, if you let that myriad of excuses take over and lead the way, you don’t clean the roasting pan, and you’re unable to appreciate the beauty and value that pan brings to you and those gathered around your holiday table.

Think about that.

Is the value and beauty a HEALTHY YOU brings to the world buried in sludge?

As 2015 fades into a memory, I encourage you to skip the short-lived resolutions and instead, START THE “TURKEY PAN PROCESS”.

If one (or more) of these sounds like you, get out that scrub brush!
* Yes I could go for a walk, but I’m so out of shape.
* If only I had more time, I would cook.
* What’s the point in exercising and eating better, something’s going get me.
* I can’t exercise because I have a bad knee (ankle, elbow, wrist, etc.).
* I have to grab my breakfast where I get my coffee, I have no time in the morning to eat.

WISHING YOU A HAPPY, HEALTHY, SHINY 2016!

“Closing Out Pink Awareness With A Nod To Red (Meat)”

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

As “pinktober” comes to a close, I find it ironic that the cancer focus has shifted to red. As in meat.

In the event you missed it, earlier this week the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, issued a press release highlighting its evaluation of the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat.

Suddenly, headlines stating that red meat, hot dogs, sausage and bacon cause cancer were EVERYWHERE, and  comments and conversations ranging from “doesn’t everything cause cancer” to “who cares, we’re all gonna die of something” were being slung around the world wide web.

Here’s a link to the actual press release: World Health Organization Consumption of Red Meat and Processed Meat.

Essentially, the WHO reported a classification of the consumption of red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans, mainly for colorectal cancer (with associations also seen for pancreatic and prostate cancer), and the classification of processed meat as carcinogenic to humans, again with regard to colorectal cancer.

FYI, red meat refers to beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse and goat, and processed meat refers to meat transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, and smoking.

Here’s my take on this announcement. It’s not new information. The directive to eat a plant-based diet in support of cancer prevention has been recommended for years. And while the overall pattern of one’s diet vs. only single foods is a balanced way to view the impact of food choices, I see nothing wrong with calling out foods that potentially fuel cancer; information that is of particular importance for those who’ve been through a cancer experience.

People who make dietary choices in support of remaining cancer-free deserve to know about food and health associations in order to decide what they’re comfortable including or excluding from their diet. Good health is about healthy choices, and the more information to help cancer thrivers eat to prevent secondary cancers or recurrence, the better.

PUT MORE PLANTS ON YOUR PLATE.

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

It’s true I’m on a tirade against Pink Ribbons, but since I don’t envision them abating anytime soon, I’ve had a flash of insight as to where I feel they’d be most effective.

Wrapped around an enormous box of produce.

And that box of produce would be delivered to the front door of every person on the planet.

Indeed, fruits and vegetables are that powerful. For both protection against and as an aid in reducing the risk of recurrence of breast cancer, research continues to show the benefit of adding more phytochemicals to our diet. Where to find them? Produce!

According to Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: a global perspective, a report produced by the World Cancer Research Fund together with the American Institute for Cancer Research; “evidence shows that most diets that are protective against cancer are mainly made up from foods of plant origin.” http://www.wcrf.org/int/research-we-fund/cancer-prevention-recommendations/plant-foods

That doesn’t mean you need to adopt a completely vegan or vegetarian diet, it simply means PUT MORE PLANTS ON YOUR PLATE.

Here’s how: fill 2/3 of your plate with non-starchy fruits and veggies, the remainder with lean protein (plant or animal-based) and complex carbohydrates (brown rice, quinoa, farro, etc.).

One way to get a jump on your daily intake is with the ubiquitous smoothie. While there are literally thousands of recipes on line, certainly enough to stress you out deciding which is “the best (read, healthiest) one”, trust me, the absolute best one you can choose to make is the one that you enjoy!

Six days per week I use my trusty Vitamix to whip up a smoothie. I like to include two fruits (I use dates (for sweetness) plus frozen blueberries or banana – and sometimes all three – crazy!), a large organic carrot, and a couple of handfuls of frozen kale (I buy Trader Joe’s pre-washed fresh and throw it in the freezer). This morning my supply of blueberries had dried up, presenting the perfect opportunity to add cocoa (3 tablespoons) and peanut butter (well, not exactly peanut butter, but certainly the flavor) to that lonely banana. It was soooo good.

SmoothieIngredients1SmoothieIngredients2Aim for AT LEAST 5 servings (1/2 – 1 cup = 1 serving) per day of a combo of fruit and veggies – but don’t be afraid to go OVER that number. Seriously.

Creating an environment INSIDE your body that is less hospitable to cancer is easy to do, completely free of side effects, and delicious.

Let’s wrap a pink ribbon around THAT.

I welcome your comments, and if you found this post helpful, please share!

P.S. Follow me on my new twitter account: @cathylemanrd

 

SEEING PINK? IT MUST BE OCTOBER.

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Oct 1 sunrise

Welcome to October.

31 days of drowning in countless shades of pink while enduring a seemingly inescapable barrage of awareness messages.

You know what I’m talking about.

Some of you have heard this from me on countless occasions, but for the uninitiated, I’ll go on record.

We don’t need more pink anything (I hate pink, btw).

We don’t need more awareness.

We do need actionable behaviors aimed at prevention.

I’ve made it my mission to blog for the entire month of October about the power of nutrition and fitness in fighting the breast cancer beast.

Let’s begin with a question, shall we?

What if we could reduce the incidence of breast cancer from one in eight women to one in eight hundred women through the use of proven preventive lifestyle behaviors, and then, at the time of diagnosis, connect those women to a nutrition and fitness expert who would create programs designed to support their individual treatment plan to encourage optimal treatment outcomes, strong recovery, and reduced risk of recurrence?

 

“3 Reasons to Elevate Your Health”

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

EEEDE26D09FE7595B42F2B5D576FF3EE-main

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve recently fallen in love with the word “elevate”.

Definition: “To lift up, to increase the level of, to make higher”.

It’s not that I just learned the word so it holds new-word novelty making me want to say it over and over and over; that word would be onomatopoeia, which I learned at a recent Toastmaster’s meeting and truly can’t stop saying.

It’s simply that I’ve realized how perfectly “elevate” fits with the work that I do – and it has me a little giddy.

I help people elevate their health.

Which isn’t as easy as it may sound. You see, people must be READY to want their health actually elevated. And that’s not always the case.

Some people need to be convinced that it’s a good idea to take care of themselves.

Those aren’t the clients I work with.

I’m known for saying, “I don’t want to convince you to look after your health – but I do want to help you once you’ve decided that you value your health AND that your health (and you) is worth valuing”.

That’s where the magic happens. When people come to the realization that their health IS PRECIOUS and they’re ready to do whatever it takes get and stay healthy – look. out.

So if you’re on the fence – not really sure if taking better care of yourself is worth it or not – here are 3 strongly compelling reasons why you may just want to say yes.

  1. You’ll stay out of health debt. We all know we must stay out of debt in order to stay financially fit. You know, money in the bank, zero balance on the credit cards, contribute to the retirement fund, spend less than we earn. All sound advice. And easily applicable to health. When you sock away health riches, you simply have a bigger reserve to draw from when (and believe me, we ALL have a when) you need it, thus keeping yourself out of health debt. Your energy, vitality, stamina, strength, reserve, and your ability to recover and withstand medical treatments all hinge on how nutritionally and physically healthy you are.
  • Tweak your diet to be sure you’re fueling versus filling.
  • Exercise weekly for at least the recommended 150 minutes.
  1. You’ll stop bouncing in and out of exercise and weight loss programs. When you do something drastic, such as an extreme (or even not-so-extreme) diet and fitness program, you will not be able to maintain that level of deprivation and restriction long-term. So you stop and then you start. Again. Over and over and over. If you’re not following a nutrition and fitness program that SUPPORTS vs. RULES your lifestyle, you’ll continue to yo-yo. And that means you won’t make progress, and you won’t keep yourself out of health debt.
  • Focus on what you can shave or swap from your current diet versus focusing on what you need to completely eliminate or avoid.
  • Find an exercise that you LOVE (yes, walking counts) and do THAT. Not a runner? Don’t run. Hate swimming? Don’t swim. Seriously.
  1. Your body will respond in kind. You know how when you forget to water your summer flower pots they seem to wilt before your eyes? The vibrancy of the petals is dulled, the leaves begin to crinkle, the stems lose their perk. What happens when you finally give them a big, healthy drink of water? They perk back up right before your eyes, gifting you with the joy of color, vibrancy and vitality. Same thing happens with your body. Give it what it needs on a regular basis and you will be rewarded with vibrancy and vitality – which makes you want to keep giving yourself what you actually need, which helps you stop bouncing in and out of extreme exercise and weight loss programs, which in turn feeds your health bank account and prevents health debt. See? Magic.
  • Remember to eat every 3-4 hours.
  • Move your body in physical activity every, single day.

“October Means Halloween & “Breast Cancer Awareness”. . .Coincidence?”

Monday, October 6th, 2014

October OFor me, the month of October has two highlights – my wedding anniversary and Halloween. Other than being great ammunition for bad jokes, they have absolutely nothing in common.

October is also breast cancer awareness month, which compared with Halloween has absolutely everything in common.

I don’t know a single woman, myself included, for whom simply the thought of a breast cancer diagnosis is not terrifying.

A little over a year ago, following news of a cancer diagnosis for two people very close to me, I titled my newsletter “Too Much Cancer, Dammit!”, and received more personal responses than I ever had before or since.

There IS too much cancer, damn it, so much in fact that I would argue that even without a month devoted to breast (or colon, or cervical, or liver, or brain, or ovarian, or prostate, etc.) cancer awareness, our collective awareness would remain steadfastly high.

We’re not winning the war on breast cancer. We may be winning the war on early detection, better screening, and treatment; death rates from breast cancer have fallen 1.9% per year since 2002, yet rates for new breast cancer cases have remained steady for the past 10 years. (1)

The theme of my aforementioned newsletter was prevention. I’ve devoted my career to educating on preventive lifestyle habits, primarily nutrition and fitness. The data is overwhelmingly strong – the choices we make on a daily basis directly influence our health. It’s what I advocate for, believe in, and strive to live in my own life.

Yet, regardless of how staunch my position on prevention and cancer, there is no guarantee; for anyone. In no way (and believe me, I could win a gold medal for trying) can we control every aspect of our environment – an environment that is toxic in so many ways. While we all carry cancer genes, some of us (yep, my maternal relatives) have the added risk factor of genetic pre-disposition. Sometimes the deck is simply stacked against us.

I occasionally wonder what would happen if I were diagnosed with cancer (my secret fear, by the way). I wonder if it would change your perspective on taking care of yourself, as in, “Well, if Cathy Leman has cancer, there’s no hope for anyone – I give up.”

If that were the case, it would make me really, really sad.

We can’t forget to pull back and consider the larger picture. Cancer doesn’t appear as the result of something unhealthy you did last week, it takes literally years to develop (for example, colorectal cancer begins with a single mutation to a gene, yet it takes on average 30 years from that point for the cells to acquire several other DNA mutations they need in order to spread and kill). (2)

If I were to be diagnosed with cancer, I couldn’t ignore the fact that I haven’t lived my entire life with the attention to prevention that I have in the last couple of decades. I can assure you, in my early twenties, breast cancer prevention wasn’t even on my radar; many of my habits during that time weren’t exactly supportive of good health.

At the time of a cancer diagnosis, it’s only human to wonder “what caused it?”, yet other than testing positive for the breast cancer gene(s), it’s essentially impossible to know. Excess weight, smoking, inactivity, and too much alcohol have all been implicated in contributing to breast cancer, but so has exposure to chemicals in certain plastics (who hasn’t experienced THAT?), and a dizzying collection of toxicity we’ve not clearly identified, yet couldn’t avoid if we tried.

That said, I maintain that practicing preventive lifestyle habits puts us in a position to fight back hard at whatever health curveball life throws at us – even a ghoulish, macabre cancer diagnosis. A healthy, strong body stacks the deck in our favor, perhaps by slowing the rate of disease progression, having a less invasive form of the disease, or giving us the ability to withstand treatments with fewer side effects and stronger recovery.

During the month of October I encourage you to heed the recommendations for breast cancer awareness; know your risk factors, get screened, know what’s “normal” for you, and practice preventive lifestyle behaviors. . .like maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and limiting alcohol; then repeat – over and over and over.

(1) http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/breast.html

(2) Spotting Cancer In A Vial Of Blood