Skip the Stress

Consider how you feel when you eat and if tense situations affect your digestion.

By Susan Howard

Everyone that knows me knows that I have digestion issues.  Ever since I was a kid, I had trouble eating foods that agreed with me. I am likely lactose-intolerant.  I can’t eat too much fat, dislike most proteins, and am constantly at war with food.  Often, I choose simple things, like white rice and veggies or peanut butter toast. I am boring. Beyond this genetic abdominal curse of gurgles and cramps, I have started examining my moods when I eat.

When I sit down to eat, how do I feel? Am I in a rush? Am I annoyed? Is the energy around the dinner stressful? If the answer to any of these questions if yes, I skip the meal. Later on, if I am hungry, I grab some toast or a quick snack.

I am not saying you should starve yourself, but am merely presenting the idea that you will not comfortably digest and process your food if you eat under a tense situation.

Take a break, give your stomach a break and skip out.

Stay calm.

Stay Ready.

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Journaling your food intake and exercise regime can help you lose weight.

Intention Action

By Susan Howard

Through research, Kaiser Medical Group has found that people that practice food journaling are 30-percent more likely to lose weight than those that don’t. Why? Often there is a huge gap between what we wish we were doing and what we actually do. In our minds, we are perfect eaters, consistent exercisers, and meditate once a day, twice on Sunday.

Who we are in our heads does not necessarily translate to who we are in life.

The power of the pen (or the notes section of your smart phone) makes you accountable to what you say you are going to do because it’s written down.  There it is, staring at you in the face.

So write down what you want your week to look like, and most often, that’s what you will do. Here is a workout week example:

Monday Eddie’s Yoga class 7 p.m. OMMMMM Tuesday Lunchtime strength training: plyometric legs and heavy arms, 5 sets. Get Tough! Wednesday Hike with Stacey, 6 a.m. Thursday ..read more
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Feeling great is achieved by working out.

GREAT

By Susan Howard

Just like Tony the Tiger used to say after eating his bowl of Frosted Flakes, we want to feel “GRRRRREAT!!!”

(Side note: Frosted Flakes are actually horrible for you, and probably one of the worst things you could eat in the morning as they have a TON of sugar and no nutritional value, but that’s besides the point.)

We don’t want to feel good, we want to feel great.

After a tough workout yesterday, I was walking out of my gym, thinking, “I feel great.”  You could choose not to workout, but then you don’t get to feel great.  Yes, you can have a good day skipping a workout but without that heart-pumping, muscle-engaging sweat, you don’t get the rewards of feeling great.

On your quest for feeling great, you may turn to drugs or alcohol, but that is a fleeting “great” feeling that will eventually drop flat into a state of not feeling great or even God-awful.

This may sound simple, but if ..read more

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A personal trainer shares some real truths about drinking water and how it can improve your life.

H20 2.0

By Susan Howard

As a fairly healthy eater, I stop short at water. Why? I don’t know. It’s annoying all that drinking and peeing and water bottles and filtered or not — and I don’t know. However, I am on a mission to change all this.

When I drink water, my brain feels better.  (Your brain is actually floating in water)

Also, it’s supposed to be great for your skin and organs.

Also, it’s supposed to help your digestion and stave off hunger.

Also, my wife is doing it, and she constantly calls me a camel.

So, jump aboard the water ship.

The rule is 8 glasses a day, though I am personally starting with 4 glasses and will bump it up as I go.

If your pee is dark, you are messing up.

Bottoms up!

Stay Ready!

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A quick 20 minute workout plan to mix things up from a Los Angeles personal trainer.

Clock It

By Susan Howard

Wake up

Go to the gym.

Repeat.

I am always going on and on about consistency with workouts, but sometimes it feels a little like Groundhog Day — like what am I doing here again?  I am so bored and unmotivated.

Here’s a fun one for you to try to shake out the gym blues and challenge your body.

Bring a watch or set your phone to 60 second intervals.

Then pick 10 of your favorite moves:

Jump squats Bicep curls Push ups Military press Lunges Bicycle crunches Handstand Chin ups Incline press Rows

Now do as many as you can of each item for 1 minute only.  Once you are done you never go back to that move.  Take 60 seconds to rest in-between moves.  The whole thing will be done in twenty minutes and you’ll still have time to pick up a latte and scramble some eggs for your kids’ breakfast.

Word.

Stay Ready.

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Working out can produce results a lot more quickly than you think. Here's how.

Get a Massage

By Susan Howard

I recently started with a new client that had been fairly sedentary, with the exception of a few random hikes.  We were a mere 5 sessions in when she went to the massage therapist that she had been seeing for years.

“You exercise now?” asked the large Russian women.

“Yes…how did you know?” my client replied.

“From no exercise to exercise the body, totally different.”

Personally, I was surprised that such a change could occur after a super short time, but there it was.  An expert on bodies and musculature, unprompted, could tell the difference.

So hell, it’s not that hard to redefine your self (pun intended) and it happens fast.  When we are on the journey, it’s impossible to tell where we land because we see ourselves everyday.

“Yep, still me.”

Like when Auntie Steph comes to visit my little kids and is shocked they look so much bigger than they were last time, but they look the same to me.

That’s where the leap ..read more

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You have a choice in your food addiction. Choose well.

User

By Susan Howard

From the second half of 2017 and up until now, I have been strict about my use of sugar.

One of my clients lamented, “Susan, is it really that horrible to have a cupcake every once in a while?”

“No, it’s not a big deal at all, you can easily metabolize those 300 to 400 calories on a 3 mile jaunt.  For me though, it sends me into a whirlwind of desire for more and more and more,” I replied.

Most everybody has their “thing.” I could drink a half a glass of red wine, or 3 glasses or skip booze for a month and not notice.  I will never have a drinking issue. Someone else could smell beer at a baseball game and become triggered into an all night bender. Other people crave fast food, french fries, cheesy creamy things. On and on it goes.

I was given my sugar addiction as a gift from my mom.  I will never forget ..read more

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Susan Howard comes up with an idea to help you eat right.

Inspector Gadget

Susan Howard

At any given time there are two voices calling out, one the voice of the angel and the other the devil.  The devil tends to come out after several drinks, “Whatever, let’s get pizza and a pint of ice cream.”  While the angel comes out after a workout, “Kale salad dressing on the side, please and thank you.”

There is a constant battle between good cop, bad cop.  My friend Kevin put it this way: “Calories are like money; I spend all week saving it and all weekend spending it.”  Too true.

Here is my new concept (although I have a different one every other week. LOL): Act as if there were some bitchy Beverly Hills nutritionist inspecting your plate of food.  What would she say?  Let the good cop nudge you. “There is too much fat on that plate.”  “It’s too high in carbs.”  “You haven’t had a vegetable all day, you sloth.”

The truth is we know what is good ..read more

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Susan Howard shares her favorite health minded podcasts and why they're great tools to help you stay fitness motivated.

Dirty Fingers

By Susan Howard

As a trainer, and yes, fitness guru, I am constantly reading and learning about everything health-related.  I love to know things so I can be better at my job. In the past, I would just hang out in the health section of a Borders and read through the aisle.  As times have changed and bookstores are more scarce, I have added podcasts as a source of information.  There is a bunch of cool ones out there, many of which have been recommended to me by clients trying to make a lifestyle change.

Podcasts are great because in Los Angeles we are trapped in our cars with a lot of useless time on our hands so it’s a perfect distraction. There are some great ones that feature some amazing speakers from ultra marathoners, to neurosurgeons, and even the founder of Whole Foods.

In order to make a change you must have your game face on at all times.  Let motivational thoughts sink ..read more

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Our thoughts on what's healthy and unhealthy to eat sometimes gets more complicated than need be.

OMG, I ATE RICE

By Susan Howard

Recently I was listening to a health podcast and there was a popular nutritionist talking about food choices. Since I am trying to get my clients to make better choices, I am always looking for new solutions to reaching our best self.

This chick was talking about cheat days and picking between a glass of wine or a dessert when you are out. Agreed, both are high in sugar and are considered treats for anyone, especially those looking to tighten up. Then she goes on to say, “If I have sushi with rice, I can do it on a cheat day, but I just have to find a great yoga class to work through all those carbs.”

Wait, what?!

Since when did sushi become a big splurge? Pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, banana split, a six pack of beer, yes, I get that these are gonna pack on the pounds, but little old sushi rice?

Come on!

I love rice. I actually love grains ..read more

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