Post Holiday Destress Workout! 

Perform each stretch for 1 minute!

1. Jumping Inchworms
2. Froward lunge
3. Side lunge
4. Side sky reach
5. Hip flexor hamstring stretch
6. Pigeon stretch
7. Down dog
8. Forward hand
9. Triangle stretch 
10. Triceps stretch

Cindy’s Recipe of the week: Chicken Tortilla Soup

3 Cloves garlic
1 small onion, chopped
2 T. olive oil
8 c. chicken broth (low sodium)
1 can garbonzo beans
1 can corn
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut in half
½ can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 ½ tsp. Cumin
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
2 oz. Diced chilies
½. C. brown rice
1 bunch cilantro
½ cup fat-free shredded cheese

In a large pot put garlic, onions and olive oil on low heat to simmer for five minutes.

Turn up stove to medium-high and add chicken broth, garbanzo beans, corn, diced tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, salt, Worcestershire sauce, chilies and chicken. Bring to a boil to cook chicken. Once your water is boiling, add the rice and cilantro. Boil with lid on for about 5-8 minutes.

Turn down the stove to a simmer and let simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.

To serve, put cheese on top and pour a little more broth on top to melt. You could cook the rice separately and place the rice at the bottom of the bowl, then pour the soup on top.


Do you ever hear yourself saying, “I’m too busy”, “I’m just so tired” or “working out is just too much work”?

We hear all of these excuses on a regular basis.  Instead of making excuses, we want you to decide that this is the moment that you are going to commit to DO IT. You’re going to get in shape, get healthy, and it’s going to be fun. Here are four motivational tricks I use myself, both personally and with my clients:

First, you must practice self-acceptance.  You deserve to be in shape, have more energy, and feel confident each day, about both your abilities and your appearance. 

Second, everyone embarking on a new nutrition and fitness program should set short- and long-term goals before they begin.  Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. 

Third, be accountable to someone.  Accountability helps to maintain the momentum that often starts to stall as you fall into a routine, especially if that program fails to produce the results you’re expecting.  If you have the means, I encourage you to consider hiring a personal trainer or nutritionist – you are making an investment in yourself that is well-deserved.

Fourth, make sure you pick exercises that you enjoy!  It doesn’t make any sense when people spend a whole lot of time doing something they hate.  Your exercise options are incredibly abundant – there must be something you’ll enjoy doing on a regular basis!


To begin with, you MUST keep a food log, exercise log, and log your moods as well!   This is your accountability to yourself.  You need to look at your log at the end of the week and see what you did right, or what you need to change. Studies have proven that client success rates are MUCH higher when they keep honest and accurate food and exercise logs.  It is important to also write down how you are feeling throughout your day so you can see if your mood affects what you eat or if you workout or not.  This can be a valuable tool in identifying binge eating triggers or moods that might cause you to avoid working out! 

It is important to be honest with yourself when keeping your logs.  We encourage you to share your logs with someone who will help you keep on track as well!  This will truly be an amazing tool for you in your new healthy lifestyle program. 


Do you feel like you’re always craving something extra? Something more? Even when you know you’re full! Even when you know you’re not really hungry! 

Food cravings are often triggered by stressful situations in your life, involving family members, responsibilities at work — all sorts of worries and troubles that we all have throughout the day. 

Or maybe you find yourself binging at specific times of the day, such as around 3:00 or 4:00.  That junk in the vending machine or a big frothy Frappuccino starts to sound pretty tempting!

We find that many of my clients use food as a self-soothing mechanism, and that they ultimately over-eat when triggered.  After you identify what triggers you, start thinking about what you can do to overcome that stress, and replace negative eating with a positive activity.  Here’s what we want you to do over the next week:

When you find yourself feeling stressed or upset with yourself, another person or an issue; instead of reaching for something to eat take a deep breath and drink a big glass of water to make sure you’re not simply dehydrated.  Think about it – did you just eat recently?  Should you really be hungry right now?

You must create a positive environment for yourself.  Once you’ve identified your triggers, see if they can be removed.  Learn to replace negative binging actions with positive and productive ones.  Take a break and get out of the home or office! If seeing certain foods leads to bingeing, GET RID OF THE TEMPTATION! We’ve even had clients do sets of squats and pushups at work to fight off snack attacks, help get their blood flowing and punch up their metabolism.

Remember, your day can be hard enough without having temptations right in front of you all of the time!


When clients first come to us, many of them tell us how they just can’t seem to get through a day without craving carbohydrates, and once they let themselves give in to the cravings, it usually turns into an all-out binge.  Through our experiences, we’ve come up with the following suggestions to help our clients break the carb addiction cycle.

Eat 5-6 small meals a day and limit the time between meals to no more than 4 hours to keep your blood sugar from dropping.  During every meal, make sure to consume a small amount of complex carbohydrates along with a lean protein to slow the digestion process and keep blood sugar levels from immediately spiking. 

When feeling a major craving, drink water or eat a lean protein as cravings are often a sign of dehydration.  We recommend that you drink at least 64 oz. of water a day, and if you’re an exercising adult, you need may be as much as 120 oz. of water a day.  If the water doesn’t work, try some protein, such as scrambled egg whites with salsa – it works every time!

Avoid over-eating.  Be aware of when your stomach is full by eating slowly and placing your fork down in between each bite.  Also, try to choose complex carbohydrates vs. simple carbohydrates – your blood sugar levels will stay more balanced and you will avoid sugar cravings later.

Daily exercise will help to reduce sugar cravings. When you are raising your endorphins throughout the day, it helps the body to feel more balanced and satisfied.  When you haven’t worked out for a while, your body starts craving more sugary comfort type foods like candy or desserts.


Just when things seem to be moving along and the pounds are coming off, many clients will hit a plateau.  Don’t be discouraged!! This is normal and you can beat it! You just need to be prepared to fight back!

Vary Your Foods.  Sometimes while trying to watch fat, carbohydrate and caloric in-take, we tend to get into a food-rut by eating the same things everyday. Try changing your diet on a daily and weekly basis, while remaining within your nutritional program. You may find that your body will react positively to the variety of in diet by dropping those last dreaded few pounds and inches!

Rev-Up your exercise Program. A weight-loss plateau may be a result of your body getting used to your daily workouts. By changing your workouts regularly (i.e. cross-training) and intensifying them, you will keep your body from becoming complacent with your fitness efforts. Remember, if you lose weight too quickly, you will lose muscle-mass as well as body fat, so be sure to stick to a program that gives you no more than a 2 pound per week loss, and make sure to give yourself 1-2 days of rest per week. Building and maintaining muscle mass with regular exercise helps to burn calories as well as boost metabolism, so Rev-It-Up!!!

Get Back to the Basics. If you’ve noticed a plateau in your weight-loss progress for several weeks, and are getting frustrated with those pesky few pounds that seem to be hanging on for dear life…. never fear!  It’s just time to get back to the basics. Take your nutritional program back to week-one and start from the beginning with your workouts and meals.  Be as strict as you were the first time around and you’ll see your body respond and shed those extra inches in no time at all!  We Promise!


Have you been out to eat lately? I’m personally appalled by the portion sizes we’re given – it’s often more than enough to feed 2-3 people.  Americans habitually over-eat both at home and while out at restaurants.  Lack of portion control has definitely contributed to increased obesity in this country, and this is absolutely one factor that all of us can completely control!  Here are some tips on how to control portions:

Serve only what you plan to eat. If a recipe serves four, and there are only two of you, cut the recipe in half from the get-go.  

Eyeball your food. Measure out snack foods like almonds or popcorn and put them into storage bags.  Sitting there with an open container or “guesstimating” portion sizes will usually lead you to over-indulge.

Get extras on the side. You can’t measure sauces or toppings once they’ve been poured, but you’ll have a better idea of how much you’re eating if you have to spoon it on yourself.

Don’t be afraid to speak up. At restaurants, find out how many eggs are in that omelet!  If your entrée comes and your portion is too large, have them halve the order immediately and wrap the rest to take home.  


Are you stuck in a workout rut? Do you want to get lean but can’t figure out how to make that happen? We have a lot of clients come to me who are afraid to lift weights as they fear they may “bulk up”, but cross-training and doing some resistance training is the answer you’re looking for!

Keep in mind that a pound of fat contains 3500 calories.  It takes 10 days to lose a pound of fat if you burn 350 calories in a workout and don’t increase food intake.  You will burn an extra 325 calories a day if you weight train!  (Which is the equivalent of running for 20 to 30 minutes a day).  Weight training increases caloric consumption during and after exercise.  It also increases muscle mass, which boosts metabolic rate further.  And don’t worry about bulking up! Muscle is denser than fat, which means it takes up less space per pound.  Your waist, hips and arms will get smaller as you gain muscle and lose fat! To “bulk up”, you not only have to lift a tremendous amount of weight, but you have to consume a huge amount of fuel to help rebuild and grow that muscle – it’s much harder than you think!

Try adding some light resistance training to your routine! You’ll boost your metabolism and get the definition you’ve been looking for!


Have a “distraction plan” intact for when family members want to make unhealthy choices. Have healthy but yummy food on hand to eat when they start make bad choices. Use a physical distraction like going for a walk, or going to the park to play.  Make it fun for everyone!

Explain to your family that you want them to support you in your efforts.  Tell them you are happier when you feel and look better.  A happy parent is never discouraged!

Plan ahead. If you are going on a trip or to a dinner where you know there will be snacks or junk food, plan ahead by having healthy choices on hand.  Pick destinations that encourage being active and getting exercise.

Try not to “guilt” anyone. This is your choice to change your lifestyle – other family members must want to make the same choices for themselves, not because you want them to.  If they choose to eat junk or neglect to exercise, try not to make them feel bad.  Instead, put healthy options in place so that they can make better choices for themselves.

Categories: Fitness with Cindy Whitmarsh