We don’t know how many years and days our lives will hold. But, no matter who you are, you want your life to be well lived. So then, the great equalizer is each day. How so? Even the richest man in the world, who is currently a billionaire trending to be a trillionaire in the next five years, does not get more minutes in his day than you. The most sought after athletes, the most popular celebrities; not one of them gets more minutes in their day than you. 1440, that is how many minutes there are in each day.

Yes, you have minutes that are obligated to commitments; caring for others, work, sleep, hygiene. But I ask you to truly consider, what are you doing with your available minutes? Are you spending them in activities that make your life better. Time is an asset. How are you spending your currency. At the end of the day will you look back with regret and say to yourself that time could have been better spent? Might I suggest that you invest some of that time on yourself doing activities that may extend the days that you have. Get some gains on your investment.

Finding ways to “move” during your available time will get you a return on investment. Exercise is simply movement that requires physical effort. It can help you feel better. You will find that by moving regularly can increase the production of endorphins which are known to have a positive affect on mood, as well as reduce the perception of pain. The brain will also register serotonin and norepinephrine, hormones which relieve feelings of depression. Physically the benefits are many, but to mention a few: reduced risk of chronic disease, increased stamina, weight loss, muscle gain, stronger bones and better sleep.

Consistency is the key. Each day, try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity in. Don’t bail on me here. You don’t have to do squats, lunges and pushups unless you want to. Play your favorite songs and dance! Throw a ball around with the kids! Take a brisk walk with a friend! Go for a swim! Ride your bike! You can even go shopping at the mall, just remember that you want to get some moderate movement in, so before you pull out that wallet, window shop the entire mall and then double back to stores you want to check out. In general, take the stairs whenever possible and park further away if you are driving. Activity trackers can help you be more aware of your movement. For some people, that is all they need. For others, having a Personal Trainer who is in your corner and their purpose is to help you reach your fitness goals is the best way to stay accountable. 30 minutes of the 1440 that the day holds. You’ve got this!

A Maize-ing

The American corn organizations, of which there are three main ones, missed an opportunity. I was so disappointed to learn that 800-ker-nels (don’t call it, but if you were to dial the numbers to spell it out) belongs to some business in Asia. That is the average number of kernels on an ear of corn, but that is not what this article is about.

Corn on the cob, fresh from the farms, is becoming more plentiful in the markets and I am excited. I’ve never been a huge fan of frozen corn on the cob and so I forego it for most of the year until it is back in season. Then you will find me preparing it and serving it as a side dish, a snack, even on the run until it is no longer available.

When choosing corn, first thing is the husk should be green and fairly stiff but not dry. When you peel it back it should reveal light colored green tone silks. Look for plump kernels that cover the cob to the end. Take it home and cook it as soon as possible and you will enjoy it’s natural sweetness without need for butter or flavorings. Of course you can add them if you like, but it’s not necessary to impart flavor. If you’ve always felt corn was rather bland and needed the added calories to taste good, I’m pretty sure you didn’t get to enjoy fresh corn at it’s best. I personally never buy the cobs packaged with the husk and silks removed, as you lose those indicators of how fresh your corn is. It’s not worth the convenience to lose flavor, not to mention nutrients as the corn ages.

More than just a tasty accompaniment to your meal, corn has many health benefits. It is high in fiber which aids in digestion. You will also get about 10% of your daily value of folate, thiamin, phosphorus, Vitamin C and magnesium. Though you have some sugar in sweet corn, it is not a high-glycemic food.

So whether you steam it, grill it, boil it or roast it; enjoy it while you can. I’ll be consuming my share and then some.

The Most Effective Exercise

…is the one that you will do… and do so consistently… and are able to do safely. There is no single exercise that is perfect for everyone so what is effective will differ with each individual.


activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness

Let’s start with the most effective exercise being the one that you will do. You know, as well as I, that just because you are able to do a movement, does not mean that you will. Executing the movement begins in your head. Not just knowing what the movement is and how to do it, but deciding to engage the muscle action. This means you have to want to and the “want to” comes from your “why”. When exercising, your “why” most likely is not a sense of immediate satisfaction, but the rather the long term achievement. After all, immediately it may feel difficult to do and may cause you to get winded and uncomfortable. Later in the day, you may feel tired and sore because of the exercise. But none of these are the “why”. If you do the exercise you will lose unwanted fat, you will become proficient in the movement and you will be healthier. Might that mean that your jeans will fit the way you like? Maybe it means you will be able to get on the floor and play with your kids or grandkids. Or, will you simply feel more confident? So first, know WHY you are doing the exercise.

The most effective exercise is the one you will do consistently. Now that you have your WHY, you must execute the plan to get to the goal. With any exercise it will take consistency to reach the prize and keep it. When you are consistent, you will get results. Remember to keep your Why in mind. For example, I am not a big fan of sweets BUT I love seasonal fruit pies. I could easily eat a slice of pie with each meal of every day. How is that for consistency? But, if I did that, my result would be an unhealthy body and low self-esteem. I would enjoy the pie in the moment, but it would derail me from my goals for my health so it would not have been worth it. Conversely, I may not always feel like working out, and it might seem hard in the moment, but doing so consistently gives me the results I want and it’s totally worth it!

The most effective exercise is the one that you will do consistently and can do safely. Every one has a different body and different situations. There are some situations that can be corrected but others that cannot, so you must do what is safe. How do you know what that is? Be sure to get regular health assessments. If you have a chronic condition, you MUST heed the advice of your doctor. If you are not confident with what the doctor prescribes, then get a second opinion, but seek counsel from a professional. Once you have a clear picture of your health, a Certified Personal Trainer would be able to design a program specifically for you. After all, exerting yourself in a way that is not safe could cause injury and sideline your goals or even keep you from reaching them.

Last thought, if you were feeling sad for me because you thought that I deprive myself of the joy of pie, don’t you fret. I enjoy a nice slice of pie every couple of weeks and in the summer, remember I favor seasonal fruit pies, probably two slices a week. I just make sure that I workout consistently… and I do, because I do what I enjoy and can safely do. Do the same and before long, you will see results.

What do I recommend? B-12? D? I think most people lack…

People want to know what I would suggest for optimal daily function. Any fitness and nutrition coach would be wise to ask some questions before giving answers. The first question I would ask is, are you getting enough Z? Yes Zzz’s. Are you getting enough sleep?

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, “Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep on a regular schedule each night.” Notice that it wasn’t just about total hours. You need to get good quality sleep which will result in feeling well rested when you wake up.

Scientists have gone to great lengths to fully understand sleep’s benefits. In studies of humans and other animals, they have discovered that sleep plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions.

In the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality. (“Why Sleep Matters”, Healthy Sleep, Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, 2008)

So let’s break that down a bit. When you get adequate sleep, your immune system and proteins are better able to fight off disease and illness. This also includes your systems antibody response to getting a vaccine. So get your rest before and after you get that shot. Then we address metabolism. That word evokes thoughts of weight loss or gain and athletic performance. Sleep deprivation will increase your levels of the hormone ghrelin, which boosts your appetite and at inopportune moments may lead you to give in to convenient, but unhealthy food options. Additionally, it decreases the hormone leptin, which signals to your appetite that you are full. Ack, double whammy! So you try to offset the consumption by going to workout. Inefficiency abounds because your energy is down, your coordination is off and reaction time is slow. Plus the sleep you didn’t get meant less time that your muscles had to recover and you are feeling that now so be careful because you are stacking the odds in favor of injury. But if you are reading this while tired, you had better bookmark this article for later as your brain will have trouble retaining what is has just learned. While you sleep, your brain processes and stores memories, including learnings. It needs adequate time to do so. And while your brain is processing everything from the day during sleep, your heart is resting and recharging, as your blood pressure lowers, allowing the blood vessels to relax. When you deprive your body of sleep, it can add to feelings of stress and your body releases cortisol, which signals your heart to work harder. Bottom line, while you sleep, your heart doesn’t have to work so hard and a rested body functions more calmly when you are awake.

When I don’t get enough sleep I get moody and I know you must too. Yes, you do too get moody. If you want to argue that point with me, may I suggest a nap? Seriously though, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to mood disorders.

Depression and sleep problems are closely linked. People with insomnia, for example, may have a tenfold higher risk of developing depression than people who get a good night’s sleep. And among people with depression, 75 percent have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. (“Depression and Sleep: Understanding the Connection” Health, Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2021)

So as I wish you good health and restful sleep, I leave you with this quote:

“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” — Thomas Dekker

“Don’t be so sensitive” or Maybe We Should ALL Try To Be MORE Sensitive

The following was written by me in December of 2018 after reading about the gentleman that ordered from a popular coffee chain and the barista changed the name on his order. In light of the current climate, I felt I needed to share it on my blog.

Lots of disagreement about the Chang instead of John on the coffee cup. Some people just don’t see what the big deal is. Reminded me of a situation my daughter had last year. A friend made a naive comment about how the costumes they were wearing looked Chinese so at the end of the performance, they should throw fortune cookies into the audience. My daughter (the only person of Chinese decent in the room) expressed disapproval of the comment to which someone else defended with, “She was only kidding.” First let me say that knowing both of the individuals, neither meant harm by their comments HOWEVER, let me try to enlighten those that may be reading and say, “Yeah, your daughter shouldn’t be so sensitive.” Let’s say the costumes have Hispanic hints, would it have been ok for my daughter to say that they should toss tortillas into the audience? …Or if they were wearing a beret, how would someone of French origin feel if she said they should throw french fries into the crowd. Oh, c’mon you say, french fries aren’t even french. Well, did you know that Fortune Cookies were created in America? So then, how to come to a concensus or simply diffuse the situation? If you’ve offended someone, even if it was inadvertently; instead of defending your actions, an apology showing empathy might help… Especially if that person’s ethnicity differs from your own and the comment was related to “who they are”… hmmm, think on that one for a second… For example, “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize how that sounded and I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Or, if you really don’t see why they are upset, maybe, “I would never intentionally say something hurtful, please help me understand how what I said that was inappropriate so I can learn from it.” Sensitivity to others is an undervalued trait…

Failed to lose weight? Here’s a fix

Covid-19 now has a new meaning; the pounds that are creeping up on you during these pandemic times. People keep telling me that they’re frustrated because they’ve tried multiple diets during this pandemic and none have worked. That one statement is enough to tell my why.

Retrain your brain! Weight loss is not a sprint, not a 40 yard dash. You need to think of it as a marathon. STOP! I knew where you were going already… if you were thinking, I could never do a marathon. Have you raised children? Marathon. Have you graduated from High School? Marathon. Have you worked in the same field for years? Marathon. Have you been married a year… JUST KIDDING! All those accomplishments took planning and execution, they took work, but with satisfying outcomes.

Society has us expecting instant gratification and we can get it without much physical effort. Want information? You just put a few keywords into a device and you have it in seconds. Hungry? You can have food delivered to your door in a little more than an hour. Need to shop for something? There’s a site that has most anything you are looking for and, in many cases, will even deliver the same day because 3 days, even tomorrow is not soon enough. So we fall into the weight loss pit. For a price, you can enroll in any number of programs that will help you lose weight 10lbs or more in 14, 21, 30 days, guaranteed. Don’t fall for it! Real sustainable weight loss takes time to happen and if done right, will not be regained and then some. The only way that I would guarantee losing at least 10lbs in 30 days is if you commit to chopping off your leg and even then, I do not guarantee that you will not regain the weight, minus your leg.

The way to drop the pounds and stay fit is to have a plan and work that plan, which includes sticking to it, and implementing beneficial changes that will last for the rest of your life. Some people can manage on their own. Others should hire someone to get them to their goal. You know which you are. If the latter, consider investing in yourself because you are worth it!

But, I am.

Emotions, so many to process, coming at me from every direction…

Words, cycling through my mind, wanting to convey my message in a way that I am heard and not disregarded as overly sensitive…

I am a descendant of Chinese ancestry. I have features and attributes that undoubtedly identify me as Asian. In 2021, this could put me in situations that compromise my safety; yes possibly even my life. I wouldn’t change the way I appear to people for any reason.

So, I pen a letter to my fellow Asians of all ancestries.

Dear Sisters and Brothers, I do not wish harm to any of you and wholly believe that you should be proud of who you are and how you look. I’m so sorry that so many have experienced, as I have, hate hurled in the form of nonsensical words, physical slights accompanied by evil glares and more broadly, threats to being able to live our lives without looking over our shoulders. As heart wrenching as this all is, it is an additional hit to my emotions when so many fellow Asians share about their abuse on social media and accompany their story with ,”…and I’m not even Chinese.” Whoa, I was feeling empathetic towards you and for a moment my empathy was overcome by confusion. The attack, verbally or otherwise was because you look different than your attacker and they identify you as being beneath them. That you are Chinese or not has no relevance to whether they should should victimize you. One poster commented that her family is of another Asian ethnicity but they called her daughter, “Chink”, Means Chinese. Ma’am, though I hate that your daughter was verbally attacked, the indignity of being called a chink or any other derogatory term is an affront on the victim to say that you are “lesser than”. To be Chinese is not to be lesser than.

There are those that would say that I’m playing into the “cancel culture” and being overly sensitive. If you have experienced unwarranted abuse all of your life based simply on your appearance then I invite you to contact me so we can discuss why we respectively feel the way we do and we can each learn from the other. If this is not your experience, I concede your right to your opinion but do not care to engage.

Stop Asian Hate. Spread Asian Unity and Love. Unite not Divide.


“Wait a minute, give mommy a chance to catch her breath.” My sons were born less than two years apart and I’m so lucky they were well behaved little ones. As when they were preschoolers, if you know my fitness journey, this phrase was uttered by me more often than I like to admit. Said in third-person, I believe, in a subconscious effort to separate myself from that mommy that was so easily winded. These energetic little boys that would just become faster and more athletic, like their older sister, had to reign themselves in. At least they had their sister to keep up with them when she wasn’t in school, or my husband when he would get home from work and each other as long as they didn’t go outside of my sight line. How sad I feel for that mama that adored her family so much, but herself, not enough. That young mom thought she was being selfish if she put aside time that would be for her alone. This wiser mom, notice that I did not say “wise”, knows that when she finally looked at the bigger picture and what the future might hold, that taking care of herself WAS taking care of her family.

My daughter is a young woman now and my sons are teens. With my husband, we hike for miles together when we travel. We usually look for something with a challenging ascent so we can take in amazing views of wherever we are. We’ve ocean kayaked so we can glimpse the periphery perspective of our vacation paradise, becoming aquatic mammals of sorts. The experiences we share, I know have created memories that we all look back on and speak of with passion. That is not to say that memories can not be created without physical activity, but I am able to give to myself AND of myself no matter what it may be.

That I can take what I’ve learned and help another experience life fuller makes me as giddy as Cookie Monster in a cookie factory. God blessed me with the courage, 8 years ago, to step into my passion for fitness so I could share it with others. Funny thing is, some might look at eight years and see a long time. My friends, I’m just getting started and my passion is still growing. My eyes, it’s true for me that they are a window to my soul, are on the constant lookout for whose life I can change. From tired mommy to fit mom, my vernacular has changed… “Wait a minute, who can I give a chance to catch and own their breath?”

From Eats to Energy

You’ve had a long day and you are exhausted, which makes sense as you’ve been so busy, right? Or could it be that you’ve been so busy that you didn’t take the time to eat? After all, some people seem to be busy all the time and have boundless energy. Oftentimes, it is those same people that seem to be eating non-stop but never gaining weight. Do you ever wish you had that person’s metabolism? Good news is that your metabolism is something that you CAN affect.

Metabolism explained simply is the process in which your body turns food into energy. Here are some ways that you can boost your metabolism:

~Get plenty of sleep. Some negative effects of sleep deprivation on metabolism are that it’s been shown to been shown to boost the hunger hormone ghrelin and decrease the fullness hormone leptin. That’s a double whammy right there. Lack of sleep has also been linked to increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.

~Move more throughout the day. This is not just about getting your steps in or burning more calories on any given day. Moving more will have positive effects on your metabolism. You’ve heard, take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator but right now, while a lot of us are working from home, simply standing more, hence, sitting less can make a difference. Even simply making it a regular practice to stand and walk while on the phone at home will help your metabolism. Also, this is a much safer practice at home than while out and about for so many reasons.

~Include protein in your diet. TEF, the thermic effect of food, is when your body works harder, uses more calories, to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal. “Protein causes the largest rise in TEF. It increases your metabolic rate by 15–30%, compared to 5–10% for carbs and 0–3% for fats.” (National Institutes of Health, Nutrition and Metabolism, November 19, 2014)

~Workout regularly. A 2011 study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that 45 minutes of vigorous cardio increased metabolic rate for up to 14 hours post workout. If you can get strength training in, the higher your muscle mass, the better your metabolism will be as muscle is more metabolically active than fat. This means that by adding strength training, as you lose weight, you could increase metabolism. Don’t let the thought of strength/weight training intimidate you. It doesn’t have to mean extreme heavy lifting. You can build strength and muscle doing exercises properly with lighter weights or even your own body weight.

These are not the only things you can do to boost your metabolism, but incorporating these things into your life will also benefit your health in other ways as well. Additionally, I could benefit from being able to get more done and not drag through the day while doing it; couldn’t you? My biggest motivation, as many of you know, is that I love food. So boosting my metabolism means getting to turn those EATS into ENERGY. Mangia!

Pucker Up

Unmistakable fragrance; clean, fresh and exhilarating… Unmistakable flavor; sour but inviting, almost a tease to the taste buds… Unmistakable look; shades of yellow that vary from pale to vibrant and it’s textured, almost smooth surface reveal that it’s citrus, but it’s not round or oval, it’s lemon-shaped!

I don’t have a lemon tree but I’m being blessed with fresh lemons, as my friend’s trees are overflowing with these little pops of sunshine.

Or shall I call them little gifts of health? When thinking of healthy fruits, most people would not think of lemons, but they have plenty of health benefits.

Lemons are good for your heart. Though we usually don’t consume it as a whole fruit, one lemon can provide you half of your daily recommended intake for Vitamin C. They are also a good source of soluble fiber, hesperidin and diosmin which are shown to lower cholesterol.

Lemons may help protect you from anemia. Though lemons contain some iron, it is not the iron content that helps prevent anemia. The Vitamin C and citric acid help your body to absorb iron from plant foods which your body does not easily do on it’s own.

Lemons may help reduce cancer risk. In human studies, more research needs to be done but some observational studies have shown that people that eat a large quantity of citrus fruits show a lower risk for cancer. In test tube studies, many compounds from lemons have killed cancer cells, but consuming them does not have the same effect. In animal studies, compounds in lemons have shown anticancer properties and even prevented malignant tumors from developing.

Lemons help digestion. Lemons are made up of about 10% carbs, mostly in the form of soluble fiber and simple sugars. It’s main soluble fiber is pectin which is shown to have many health benefits.

Though I am a huge fan of lemons I do need to be careful when using them as an ingredient as I have sensitive skin and direct contact can definitely cause skin irritation. So after feasting on shellfish, no lemon wash for me, just soap and water. One other caution, acidic foods in large amounts can be detrimental to your dental health. Remember that everything you ever needed to know, you learned in kindergarten. Brush after every meal and do as I do. When life gives me lemons, I make lemonade and lemon-caper chicken, and lemon bars and lemon sorbet and lemon…