May 28, 2024

Need a little inspiration? By Jennifer Austin

If the hustle and bustle of the season has taken your energy, time to reset with a motivation boost. Let others inspire you with their words.

“Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.” -Henry Ford. Do you really want to get fit? Getting healthy and fit is not easy. It takes effort, commitment and dedication. It’s really up to each individual how hard he is willing to work. Fitting in exercise may mean getting up earlier, staying up later, paying attention to pre and post workout food and hydration. Be honest with yourself about the requirements of living healthy.

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” -Theodore Roosevelt. Ultimately the choice is yours. You’re the one who has to take the next step on a run, who has to log those extra five minutes on the stair climber, and put forth the effort to complete your last chest press set. A common mistake is promising to get fit to please others. In the beginning, motivation will come easy. However, when workouts get tough one only person can make it happen, you. Work on your mind and your body will follow.

“When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.” -Benjamin Franklin. We’re all in this together. Balancing work life, family life, personal life and many other obligations and responsibilities. It seems the pace of our world continues to get faster and faster. A little kindness and support goes a long way. Letting a fellow exerciser work in a set, handing them a mat when you can see they’re struggling to reach it or offering to help spot their exercise helps us all reach our health and fitness goals. And the bottom line is, exercise is more fun and interesting if it involves smiles and light conversation, instead of frowning and rude comments.

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.” -William James. There really and truly is a special quality in each of us that will kick in when we want to accomplish a goal badly enough. It’s the, I will not give up thoughts. Sometimes we don’t even define it as such, but it is there and it propels us forward. This is the quality, for example, when we never give up trying to teach our children to read. Just because they don’t get the words right at first doesn’t mean we toss the book over our shoulder and say forget about it! Transferring these qualities of patience and perseverance to our own health quest is what translates into results. Results mean pushing through and powering on. Don’t let yourself off that easy, work hard!

Lean on words of others to regain your inspiration. Print out their words or put them into your phone. Look at them often, memorize them as a mantra, do whatever it takes to continue your journey to healthy living. It’s worth it.

In need of a little friendly competition? By Nicole Bryan

Up for a little friendly competition?

Choosing to participate in a race will inspire your workouts and motivate you to work harder. Bringing some friendly competition into your exercise routine will peak interest, and you’ll be less likely to miss a workout when your ego is on the line. Let nerves and jitters of a little friendly competition inspire a source of empowerment to better fitness.

Here are just a few reasons why racing should be on your list of exercise goals:

Competition builds confidence that spills over into all aspects of life. Improved confidence and self esteem means you’re more likely to set goals in other areas of life. Learning how to tap into an inner strength, determination or perseverance to cover that last mile or last lap will give a boost of energy to accomplish other non-fitness dreams.

Competition keeps you coming back for more. There will always be an aspect of our participation we could have done differently; maybe prepared a little better, executed with greater precision, thought out a more effectively.

Competition promotes additional healthy behaviors. Racing is just one aspect of fitness. When working toward a competition other areas creep into consciousness for example insuring better sleep, better food choices, and better time management.

Competition eases stress and leads to mental or emotional clarity. Sometimes the physical fatigue of racing allows us to be still enough for our psyche to process emotional happenings of life. This is a good thing and results in feelings of rejuvenation.

Competition encourages new friends. Competing alongside a fellow athlete creates an instant bond and understanding of effort, dedication and sacrifice. The kindness and generosity in the spirit of good sportsmanship often seen in competitions results from an automatic camaraderie rarely experienced in other settings.

Consider adding in some friendly competition to your workout regime. Once a year or many times each year, preparing for a race will fire up motivation and quality of exercise. Attending a few events or competitions of interest to observe as a spectator is a great step toward determining if it’s for you. Enjoy the motivation and commit to participate the next time around, and pass on the inspiration.

Your Kinesiology Taping Solution

If you suffer from muscle or joint pain, post-exercise fatigue or nagging injuries, there is help. Your answer is simply one click away. Meet!

Theratape is the leading online supplier of kinesiology tape, the colorful tape that can now be seen at virtually every major sporting event, as well as physical therapy clinics, chiropractic offices and training rooms. Since its debut at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, kinesiology tape has taken both the sports world and the therapy world by storm and is showing no signs of slowing down. This popularity is understandable when you consider that an expenditure of $10-$20 can purchase a product that can provide round-the-clock relief from pain and inflammation for up to 5 days, as well as accelerate the healing process.

Joanne Stapensea, M.Sc., an exercise physiologist and owner of says the benefits of kinesiology taping are many, with the user often experiencing relief and improved function almost immediately. Health and fitness experts agree. Using kinesiology tape can:

Speed Workout Recovery. Whether you work out a few times a week or participate in competitive multi-day athletic events, recovery is key! K-taping increases circulation to those working muscles, which means that more oxygen and nutrients are being delivered and more exercise byproducts like lactic acid are being removed.  The result? Less residual fatigue and muscle soreness and a faster return to peak performance levels.

Decrease Pain. Whether it’s a fresh injury or a chronic muscle or joint ache, kinesiology taping can help relieve the pain. The stretchy tape lifts the skin just enough to reduce pressure on sensitive pain receptors, providing drug-free relief the entire time it is worn.

Keep You Active. Because it provides pain relief and support without restricting range of motion, k-tape can allow people with injuries to continue to train and/or compete as they recover. What could be better than continuing in your sport and healing at the same time?

Correct Muscle Imbalances. Depending on the method of application, kinesiology taping can activate weak/poorly toned muscles or inhibit overactive muscles. This allows it to help correct muscle imbalances and dysfunctional postures that can lead to injuries or performance problems. Better posture means you’re decreasing risk of injury, and working at full functional power!

Wondering how kinesiology tape can do all that? For your own tutorial on how kinesiology tape works click here! was born in the Spring of 2009. “I first saw Kinesio Tape at the 2008 Beijing Olympics on the US beach volleyball gold medalist” explains Joanne Stapensea, Theratape’s owner.  “I started searching for the tape online and had a very difficult time finding it. I realized that if I was having trouble finding it, there were probably thousands of other people in the same boat. That looked to me like a need just waiting to be filled!” she shares. “We now ship worldwide, supplying kinesiology tape to individuals, schools, clinics, hospitals and the military.” is unique because it is the only source for all of the major kinesiology tape brands, varieties, accessories and educational materials. Among the many choices are:

Single Rolls – approximately 16 feet long, great for first aid kits, sports bags and personal use

Bulk Rolls – over 100 feet of tape, ideal for health professionals and athletic trainers

Precut Strips – varying widths and lengths of strips precut into X, Y, I or fan shapes

Precut Applications and Taping Kits – designed for specific body parts, these are perfect for traveling and on-the-go sporting events

Specialty Tapes – gentle or extra-strong adhesive, wide or narrow widths and more

With prices starting at just $8, you’ll find kinesiology taping is a cost-effective option. With so many choices available, there really is a type of tape for every athlete, every muscle and to support nearly every sport or fitness endeavor. However, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, simply drop Theratape an email via

File under extra-cool because they go the extra mile to inspire their customers. In addition to their wide selection of kinesiology tape and supplies, the Theratape Education Center goes one step further to educate health and fitness enthusiasts of the benefits of their products and how to use them correctly. “In the Education Center you can view hundreds of instructional videos and find printable application instructions, all organized by body part” offers Joanne. Especially useful to visitors is their YouTube channel highlighting taping applications for a wide variety of injuries and health conditions. One click and you’ll be a fan as you learn the basics in an easy to follow step-by-step format.

Are you a Health and Fitness Professional? Register in their database to secure your discount here. Order all of your patient supplies in one convenient spot, AND read reviews and reports to stay current on research all relevant to the taping world.

So if you’re looking to recover faster, decrease injuries and improve posture and muscle function, consider giving kinesiology tape from a try. Find all your kinesiology taping supplies and information in one easy to use online location. Join their Twitter and Facebook communities to discover why fellow athletes rave about the benefits of kinesiology tape. Make your kinesiology taping solution!

Stage your Comeback! By Nicole Bryan

What’s your comeback story?

Look to those you know who’ve staged an exercise comeback after a setback for inspiration and motivation. One thing all comebacks have in common whether sports related, work related or otherwise; the comeback kid always says all the hard work was worthwhile. No one has ever regretted it.

Here are 6 steps to stage your best comeback yet!

Review. Retrace steps to determine where you strayed from your goal.

Research. Are there pieces of the puzzle that you’ve been missing? Maybe there is a new technology or method to make your goal easier to accomplish.

Be Vulnerable. Everyone makes mistakes and poor decisions. Don’t be afraid to let others know you’ve slacked off in your progress. If they know you are struggling, they may be able to help get you back on track.

Progress is Cumulative. Even if you falter on your way to your goal, exercise is cumulative. Every little bit counts. Stay out of the all or none mindset. You are not starting at zero again, simply start where you are!

Accept Responsibility. YOU ate the cookies, YOU slept in, YOU skipped your run. Take responsibility, and then move on.

Leave the Past in the Past. Focus forward. The past is the past, so leave it there. Acknowledge it, learn from it and then let it go.

So if you’ve strayed from your exercise and fitness goal, stage your comeback. A comeback takes planning, consistency, hard work and dedication…and you’ll never regret it!

Healthy Eating 101 by Shirley Plant

Many of the foods we are eating today are laced with chemicals, pesticides, and added sugars. Foods like pasta sauce, crackers, cereal and canned nuts even have added sugar. No wonder the average North American consumes more than 150 pounds of sugar a year, its hidden in food we would never suspect. It is estimated that one in three North Americans will be diabetic by the year 2025. Our diet is contributing to this epidemic and yet this is 100% preventable by changing our diet.

Here are 3 top tips to eating clean and healthy:

Stick to the outer perimeter of the grocery store where the fresh food items are displayed.

If it doesn’t grow, don’t eat it.

If its in a box and has an ingredient list that you can’t pronounce its probably not the best thing to put in your body.

Find out more about 3 Foods that are playing a role in your health with this Free 3 -Part Video Series

Click here for more information

Shirley Plant- Nutrition Coach and Author of Finally Food I Can Eat Follow her on Twitter via @sherrecipes


Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe by Shirley Plant

Looking for a quick, healthy dinner the whole family will love, especially if dealing with food allergies? Try my Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe, it is sure to please even those picky eaters!


Sweet and Sour Chicken

Free of dairy products, wheat, yeast, corn, sugar, eggs, soy, nuts, and gluten.

2 pieces boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
olive oil

1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp tomato paste

In a frying pan with enough oil to cover the bottom of pan, cook chicken over low to medium heat, stirring frequently for approximately 10 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.  Saute onions for a few minutes in pan with a little more oil or some water. Add in celery, carrots and peppers and water and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add in the chicken pieces. In a separate bowl mix sauce ingredients together and pour over chicken and vegetables and let simmer for a few minutes so sauce will thicken. Serve over rice and with a side salad or steamed vegetables.

Recipe by Shirley Plant- Nutritionist/ Dietary Consultant
Author of Finally… Food I Can Eat, a dietary guide and cookbook for people with food allergies, and those looking for healthy, tasty recipes. Contact Shirley for assistance with menu planning and for healthy recipes everyone loves! Follow her on Twitter @sherrecipes.

Keep Your Personal Strength Alive by Laurie Miller

After a health crisis hits, after the shock of the diagnosis and the meetings with your doctors, hope and desire to overcome the illness is strong. Your loved ones and friends are supportive and positive. Hope is a powerful thing and is necessary in managing to maintain a positive outlook.

Personal strength – physical, mental and emotional – allows you to handle the rocky road and the ups and downs that are inevitably part of a health crisis. Personal strength comes from many sources and your belief system (spiritual, religious, or about life in general) plays an important role. Mental and emotional strength, in particular, come from the messages you send yourself and the choices you make. If your upbringing included messages like “you can do anything you set your mind to” or “you are capable of creating your positive outcomes,” those messages become the solid base of that gives you strength.

It is easy during a health crisis to take on a “poor me” attitude or feel like a victim. Some of this is normal, but too much weakens your personal strength and personal power. When you find yourself in this negative state, notice it, feel it, experience it, explore it . . . and then release it. “Poor me” may seem protective as it enables you to stay stuck and not really deal with the emotions that come with health crisis such as fear or make necessary but difficult changes.  However, in the long term this attitude only serves to bring you down and lessen your quality of life.

Physical strength can be built back after chemotherapy, radiation, or other medical treatments. Give your body good foods, nutrients, and supplements to strengthen it. Drink plenty of water and exercise within your capacity to enhance physical stamina and strength. When you feel physically strong, mental and emotional strength follow and likewise when you are emotionally and mentally strong and resilient, you have more physical resources.

So, if you are in a space where you need strength, take a deep breath and feel a surge of oxygen entering your body and giving you life force energy. Do it again and you will feel even better, lighter, and more comfortable. When I find myself feeling down, I say, “Hello down (or sadness or fear or whatever the emotion may be). I am aware of you.” Staying stuck in that negative place feels icky so I make a conscious decision to shift my mental, emotional, physical state and it works! I feel better, I smile, and I thrive!

Taking your mind away from the details of the health crisis to pleasure, fantasy, and enjoyable stimuli also helps shift you out of a negative state and build your strength. It is important to engage in activities that enhance your quality of life such as reading, attending movies and concerts, and getting plenty of laughter. Set aside the health crisis and all the decisions, questions, and concerns for a period of time. Listen to music, a hypnosis CD, or something else that brings you pleasure and relaxation. When you do this your body relaxes, your emotions calm, and your mind quiets. This restores the inner strength and personal power that keeps you going, keeps you positive, and keeps you motivated to live well even in the midst of a health challenge.

Laurie Miller is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with more than 30 years of experience helping people achieve health and happiness.  Laurie can use her training and her experience with illness to help you.  Read her articles for free here. Purchase her prerecorded hypnosis sessions at

Relief from Pregnancy Discomfort by Tatum Rebelle

Pregnancy is often accompanied with many unpleasant side effects. Stretching can help to boost energy, decrease stress, and relieve pain. Remember that your body knows best! Listen to your body’s cues. And always, obtain physician clearance before performing exercises.

Breathe slowly, and deeply into each stretch. Never force your body to go farther than it wants to on a given day. Hold each stretch 20-60 seconds. Repeat 1-3 times depending on how much time you have and how you are feeling.

These are a few of the best stretches for alleviating discomfort:

Cat/Cow: Stretches back and strengthens core muscles.
• Start on hands and knees with a flat back from head to tailbone.
• Keep your back straight, without movement, while tightening your abs.
• Draw in your abs, slowly exhaling, and rounding your spine toward the ceiling.
• Keep abs tight during a slow exhale and then relax while you deeply inhale.
• Repeat with each breath.

Twisting Back Stretch: Stretches core and lower back.
• Sit with good posture and your shoulders relaxed.
• Straighten the right leg out on the mat and bend your left.
• Cross the left foot over the right leg, and place it by your knee on the mat.
• Place your right palm behind you on the floor, and press the left arm into your left knee.
• Inhale and sit tall. Exhale and relax further into the twist. Do not force into the twist by pressing hard.
• Then slowly untwist and straighten both legs. Repeat pose on the other side.
• Typically this pose is done with your abs pressed to your thigh.

(During pregnancy twisting the opposite way does not compress your belly.)

Child’s Pose: Stretches back, shoulders, chest, and core muscles.
• Kneel on the mat with your knees wider than hip-width, and hands under your shoulders.
• Lower your rear back towards your heels
• Reach your arms forward to feel more of a stretch while keeping your palms flat on the mat
• Rest forehead on mat and take several slow, deep breaths.

The Fit Pregnancy Plan includes a full body stretching program as well as workouts for your entire pregnancy and recovery. To learn more visit

Tatum Rebelle is a pregnancy and new mom fitness and nutrition expert. She founded of Total Mommy Fitness in 2005 after seeing an unnecessary trend of women opting out of exercise once they became pregnant and had young children. Learn more at and

Going Guten Free by Gretchen Scalpi

Going Gluten Free…

In the past few years, there has been a huge increase in the variety and availability of gluten free food choices. Most grocery store chains now devote an entire aisle to “health foods” and consumers will find many gluten free choices there.

Lately, I’ve had clients without celiac disease or gluten intolerance ask whether they should go on a gluten free diet to improve their health. The emergence of many food products, along with some help from celebrities and TV talk shows have made the gluten free diet popular indeed.

So should you go gluten free?  The short answer to this question is “it depends on your why you are doing it.” For those diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, the gluten free diet is the only treatment for getting well.  For everyone else, it’s NOT likely to be the magic bullet to weight loss or better health.

For years I have helped clients with celiac disease or gluten intolerance learn how to navigate in food markets and restaurants so that their food choices are gluten free.  The learning curve for going gluten free is pretty steep. It can take weeks or months to learn how to get gluten completely out of your diet. Just learning what foods are gluten free and how to read ingredient lists on labels is a daunting task itself.

This past week I got to experience that learning curve first hand, when I received my own diagnosis of celiac disease.  To say I was stunned is an understatement. Having none of the classic signs of celiac disease, it took me several days just to process this reality.  The proof, of course, was in the blood work and a small intestinal biopsy.  Had I not seen those results for myself, I would not be convinced.  So here I am in the same shoes as my clients who have to think about every food they choose to eat.  Fortunately for me, I already know what to look for and how to prepare gluten free foods.  It’s just that I’ve never had to do this before.

Yesterday I spent the better part of the day planning for the items I will need for my meals.  I’m weeding out those items I will no longer use.  It’s unlikely that I will purchase many of the packaged gluten free products, as many are high in calories and low on fiber and nutrition.  I’ll stick to the whole foods and try my hand at baking some gluten free items from scratch, using gluten free whole grains.  I know I will miss eating many favorite foods (pizza and pasta for starters), but fortunately I am fond of many naturally gluten free foods that I already eat on a regular basis.

In the weeks to come, as I adjust my style of eating I’ll add some recipes and observations about living the gluten free lifestyle to my blog.  I’m sure that even with my training and knowledge of the subject, there’s still lots to learn.

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Wellcoach®. Gretchen is the author of the books “The Quick Start Guide To Healthy Eating”, “The Everything Guide to Managing and Reversing Pre-Diabetes”, “The Everything Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd ed.”, “Pre-Diabetes Your Second Chance At Health” and the “Virtual Grocery Store Tour”.  Visit her website at

Getting Organized by Coach Juli

An effective work space and living space is a component of healthy living. A  functional living space means decreased stressed, increased efficiency in how you operate and accomplish tasks day to day.

Here’s how to clear the clutter and get organized, once and for all! (Yes, you can do this!)

Clutter has a way of creeping up on us and one day we realize it is simply out of control. Leaving it alone only increases it dimensions and makes the overwhelm significantly pronounced.

How to Begin:

Start by scheduling time over the course of days and perhaps even weeks to tackle the issue.  Consistent work on it will yield progress.  Often just getting started helps get the ball rolling and you can move along faster.  It is necessary to understand that there simply is not enough space for everything to fit.  One general rule of thumb I apply is that everything needs a place to be stored.

Rule: If something doesn’t have a place to be then either create a place, or don’t keep the object.

It’s really that simple.  If you don’t do this, it is a guarantee that it will be tucked under something and otherwise rendered useless. It will become forgotten among items it has nothing in common with. You will end up wasting time looking for it in places it shouldn’t be, and if you don’t find it, you will most likely end up buying another one!

What do you do when you are stuck with the decision of whether to keep or toss out an item?  If you unearthed it from under a pile of junk and you forgot you even had it, chances are you don’t need it.

Be honest. Try asking yourself, honestly, “what are my reasons for keeping this?”

Get tough. If your answer isn’t strong enough, perhaps the item needs to find a better home –the trash or donation center is that better place.

Contributed by Coach Juli, CPC: ADHD Productivity Coach. Efficiency Expert since 1984, and author of the eBook, Order! A Logical Approach to an Organized Way of Life, Contact at 805-964-2389 or