Keep It Spicy

oregano – turmeric – cayenne – coriander – cumin

You can’t go wrong with herbs and spices to liven up your meals with both health benefits and flavor! I’m not a complex cook but I’m on point when it comes to ingredients.

Coriander on popcorn? Sure. Extra cumin on that hummus? Go ahead. Cayenne to give it a kick? Yes definitely. Hot spices have also been linked to satiety, one reason why you see cayenne on list of ingredients of the infamous cleanse beverage.

With a varied spice collection you can give the usual diverse flavor possibilities.

Must Have Return-to-Gym Accessory

Stealth Angel mask with vents/filters

For those returning to large gym scene I highly recommend training masks with vents. I just ordered one myself – see above. I have to admit that the brand name got me as well as the design. I mean, why not? I’m going to be wearing it a lot, and I’ve discovered that working out in an ordinary mask is quite difficult.

These days my clients have three different options as to how they can train: Virtually, at my private studio Shangri-La in West Everett, or at the large gym BSC Wellington. For those clients training at or returning soon to BSC, please go ahead & acquire a training mask! I’ve heard from others using them regularly that this makes a huge difference in the work out quality.

Once the mark of hard-core athletes doing altitude training or those especially determined to maximize their cardio, now these ventilated mask are a common site. I will definitely post a follow up review once I get mine in the mail!

Food Glorious Food

Giant Heirloom tomato from Lancaster Farm
Pesto pasta w/ Heirloom tomato, watercress, spinach, fresh mozzarella

Summer is the perfect time to dive into fresh food, especially if it’s grown locally or regionally. That’s what I like about the Whole Foods here in Charlestown, Mass. They sell a lot of local produce and products.

The perfect wholesome meal comes together easily when you have an array of spectacular ingredients before you. When I have this many choices I get lost in it! Try though I may to be prepared with a list, sometimes I just wing and see what I find.

Did I mention I love food? And, provided I’m getting enough sleep for energy also, I really enjoy putting together a special meal. No particular occasion necessary. Make the plate beautiful with some undeniably nutritious ingredients, and there’s a high probability of full on enjoyment.

These Legs Were Made For Walkin’

~ fresh kicks ~

One of the most transformative lifestyle changes I have made is to stop driving and rely on either my legs or public transportation to get around. My body is my Maserati!

You may think saying something like that sounds full of oneself but 1) I’m in fantastic shape because of choices I’ve made & 2) I have more reverence for my body than for a type of car, even though they are amazing & 3) what’s wrong with being full of one’s self Without harming others. Oneself is what we have been gifted with in life And the vehicle through which we can experience joy, and so be kinder and more spirited and generous in relation to others.

It’s tough to argue the fact that not having a car is *definitely* more environmentally friendly. And when I stopped driving I experienced a body transformation simply from moving more.

Now, I’m not going argue for everyone to stop driving. That’s a personal choice depending on lifestyle. I’m just saying — there is an undeniable metabolic uptick from using your body more to get around rather than a car. In any case, more walking helps a lot.

What gets me in the mood to be out and about walking around or using the train is a fly pair of kicks. I’m not even kidding. They’ve got to be comfortable, and the styles out now are many and varied, and quite cool.

The not so subtle pair above is produced by Michael Kors, more or less a replacement for the over the top purple Rihanna Pumas that I had before. It feels great to walk around in them.

I do recognize having a car is more conducive to city life. It’s easy in Boston to get to places within a wide radius using the train. For this I’m very thankful.

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but being more of a pedestrian is better for one’s health. Inevitably, this makes ordinary errands a lot more physical and this is one reason why I don’t do weighted carries at my studio! Because that’s part of my life. For example, when I get groceries.

That’s not to say that I won’t ever make use of cars or getting rides, but the vast majority of my movement is walking. As a result, my legs stay muscular even when I’m not lifting weights a lot. It also helps my mood to be outside in the fresh air for extended periods of time.

Write It Down

Visual Inspiration

A surefire way to outdo yourself is to have record of what you did last time.

You’re sure to be on task if the workout or list is before you, and clear.

There’s something definite and engaging about tactile interface and the feeling of writing.

A notebook can be selected visually appropriate to or evocative of it’s subject contents.

Try A Different Route

* A small change can make a big difference *

Today’s post is inspired by a client issue. And that is how to overcome a training blockage or plateau, in this case with running pace.

I am always happy to help clients by text or conversation in order to solve training or life puzzles, which are interconnected.

The simplest way to get past a blockage is to introduce a variation or change that is related to the task.

With her, I suggested that since she always runs the same route that she tried running different routes in different ways, because always going the same way can eventually lead to stagnancy.

There are other factors involved too, but that seemed the most obvious one. If something sticks out as obvious that’s parameter to check first.

In any situation there are numerous factors to consider. Even as I compose this I’m thinking how can I apply this to my own life and situations that I’m trying to make better or modify.

Asking logic based questions definitely opens the door to more information, when it comes to counseling clients and counseling oneself.

I am definitely inspired by what I have read by Sir John Whitmore and the programming of Performance Consultants International.

Pain Relief & Injury Prevention Supplies

Gel Bead Sports Wrap + Hot/Cold massager

In the pursuit of back to gym season and fitness advancement – in my case Crossfit, which is fortunately under new ownership – it’s great to feel prepared for soreness and tweakage as well as their prevention! This past Sunday I was caught off guard with cranky neck muscles, so I responded by pampering them as best I could. I’m now happy to have the following items stocked and to have a updated awareness as I pursue more physical challenges:

Wahl Electric Hot/Cold massager – great value

Gel Bead Hot/Cold Sports Wrap

CBD Massage Oil

Advil

Pedialyte

Watermelon juice

Plenty of water

Foam roller + peanut roller

Dreaming About Specific Foods

~ One way the body communicates ~

Have you ever had any dreams that feature specific foods? I certainly have, and on numerous occasions. Depending on the context, this could be the body suggesting sources of vital nutrients that are needed. I consider that to be the case when I have a dream about a food that I know is very healthy.

For example, I was eating solid vegan for a while, now more like vegetarian and with two appearances of beef and I’ll tell you why. (Overall I have cut back a lot on consumption of animal products.) I had a vivid dream in which there was a chef cooking strips of beef in a pan with the herb sage. So, the following night I ordered a sirloin that came from an area farm through the restaurant Earl’s Kitchen in Assembly Square. ~ If you can believe this – in a different earlier dream a guy introduced himself to me as Earl and said I didn’t need to remember his name! Of course I did because he said that. ~ And the actual meal was of course delicious. I felt nourished and energized in a way that I hadn’t in a while. As for the sage, I got some from the grocery store and have been including it in different meals. I take such specific suggestions from my dreams to heart. I mean it’s always a pleasure to eat anyhow and listening well to my body has been over the past few years extremely beneficial. Our Bodies are extraordinarily complex and there is a history within, so I trust that. Given a food dream which is fairly straightforward, I’m happy to oblige!

Here’s a funny feature from another somewhat recent dream I had: I encountered a lizard trying to encourage me to eat more fruit rather than vegetables. Specifically, it wanted me to eat star fruit. I need to search Whole Foods for that one! That suggestion may be because of vitamin C or maybe even the structure of the fruit. At any given moment there may be processes of healing or restructuring that need to occur and certain substances can aid that.

It’s really interesting the information and insight that can be derived from dreams. If anything sticks out to me I’ll write it down. Sometimes dreams are a way of cleansing and purging too, like emptying the trash bin on your computer.

**It should be noted** that including meditation or having meditative / restful interludes during the day leads to more coherent dreaming, and writing down prominent objects or symbols upon waking helps too. Perhaps you all have noticed this uptick in dream messages during quarantine because life has been less busy.

Super Fat

Super snack

When it comes to being satisfied by a snack, fat and protein are superheroes. Not just any fat, though. The best fats are unaltered, in close to their natural state, and not laboratory concocted. I’m not trying to demonize food of any kind. We have so many options – and that’s amazing. When it comes to satiety though, eating close to the earth works best. For example, the snack above contains guara almonds and olive oil as protein and fat sources. The fiber in the popcorn is also filling. And let’s not forget – the herbs & spices are both beneficial and tasty. Overall, a delicious super fatty snack. This is quite different nutritionally from eating say a croissant, which also has high fat content. The snack pictures is also “super” because of the nutrient content and even the texture! Crunchy food supposedly leads to feeling more satiated also. I happen to agree from plenty of experience snacking!

Another plus about this snack – it is a combination of simpler single ingredient foods, instead of a complex amalgam of ingredients processed into one. As I said before, if I’m very hungry you can bet I will be happy with whatever is available but given the choice I try to choose top shelf. After all, if I have a serving of a snack, I don’t want to be still hungry – I want to be full.

There’s another next level to be considered here also, if you want to wrap your mind around it – and that is being hungry for what you *have and being satisfied with what you have in front of you. You can believe something will satisfy you and it will. For example, say all you had in your fridge was a carrot. Well, you *could then enjoy the hell out of that snack because it’s what you have and it’s food. Not only that, it’s nutritious food.

We’ve come to have somewhat demanding, elaborate taste buds; we also have strong powerful minds / consciousness should we choose to exercise those muscles. Just something to keep in mind when it comes to eating, and other somewhat complex and miraculous daily experiences.

2020 Fitness Fashion: 2-in-1 Shorts & Athleisure

Puma Drycell

2020 in my opinion finds gym and activewear with better designs than ever. One of my favorite current trends is 2-in-1 shorts, which is a combination of regular gym shorts with built-in compression shorts, and they are very comfortable! They are also flattering, stay put well and so are well-suited for tough workouts.

The best ones I’ve seen so far are from a couple of my favorite fitness gear companies, Nike and Puma. Nike is definitely my go-to because I like the design + sturdy construction. I am just now retiring some Nike Pro that I’ve had for years and have worn a lot.

It’s funny to think back on the limited options for gym and sportswear when I was in middle and high school, and even college on into young adulthood. Both men and women have a lot more choices now. There are most definitely more fitness companies, plus working out and lifting are more popular than ever. That creates a definite fashion culture that goes with it!