May 17, 2024

“I don’t have time!” By Nicole Burley

I-Don’t-Have-Time-For-Lunch Excuse Busters!

“I’m too busy to stop for lunch!”

“I don’t have time to eat something healthy.”

“Life gets so crazy, I just forget to eat!”

Skipping meals is not healthy! If you have ever uttered any of these words, I’m here to beg and plead with you to make a change.

I promise you – one of the most important things you can do for your health, your moods, your energy levels – and your waistline – is to eat meals on a regular schedule.

I know what you’re thinking, “but I don’t have a regular schedule!”  Your body doesn’t care! Your body really likes a predictable routine – even if YOU don’t, or even if your life is not set up that way.

Here are some mega-simple strategies for making sure that you are never left in the lurch – or without lunch!

1. Lunch doesn’t have to be a full, sit-down affair with 3 courses. If you are constantly on-the-go, lunch can consist of a handful of nuts, a healthy snack bar, or a piece of fruit. The goal is to simply put SOMETHING in your body so that you have some fuel and nourishment every few hours.

2. A teensy bit of planning can go a long way. Could you find 10-minutes once a week to stash healthy snacks in your office, in your car, and in your bag? This way, you’ll never be left without an option.

3. If you have time to go to the bathroom, you have time to eat something. Think about it. If it was urgent, you would make the time to use the facilities! I encourage you to consider it just as urgent that you fuel your body throughout the day. 5-minutes is all it takes!

Nicole Burley, M.Ed is a certified Life Coach and Health Coach with a private practice in NYC. She is the creator of the Healthy Habits Coaching Club – a warm and upbeat online membership community designed to help you stay healthy, stay motivated – and quit dieting. For more information visit and


Weight Loss Do’s and Don’ts by Lori Rosenthal, MS, RD, CDN

Four Infallible Weight Loss Dos & Don’ts

Plan Ahead - In the game of life, when we have a plan we are more successful. So, why would it be any different when it comes to weight loss? Meal planning gives us the opportunity to make healthy choices before life gets in our way (which it often does.) When we are already hungry, our judgment becomes clouded, often leading us to opt for what’s convenient instead of healthy. Planning ahead takes this out of the equation, which allows us to make smarter decisions that won’t leave us feeling guilty and dis-empowered. Need added incentive to plan ahead? Meal planning has also been found to decrease stress and save money.

Be Mindful - Eating mindfully means being aware of why, what and how much we are eating. Begin by asking, “Am I really hungry?” It sounds simple, but it is an effective way to avoid emotional eating, eating out of boredom and grazing (for example, snacking throughout the day.) During meals, focus on the meal. Turn off the TV. Put away your phone. Close the laptop. Studies show that when we take the time to chew, taste and savor our food, we naturally eat less and enjoy more.

Eat Your Calories, Don’t Drink Them - Sugary drinks have been a hot topic over the past year and rightly so. Eating and drinking are two different sensations. Calories from drinks, including fresh juice, add up very quickly, yet do nothing to curb our appetite. By swapping out juice and soda for sugar-free drinks, we can cut out hundreds of unwanted calories. As with eating, we must enjoy what we are drinking for the change to stick. To add flavor, but not calories try infusing water with fruits, vegetables or even ginger.

Don’t Skip Meals– Despite popular belief, we need to eat to lose weight. Skipping meals slows our metabolism, causing our body to hold on tight to every calorie we put in our mouth. This is often referred to as “starvation mode.”  Eating three meals and two to three snacks picks up our metabolism, facilitating weight loss. Meal skipping also leads to poor decision making, fast eating and larger portions. Three weight loss no-nos. If we never skip meals, we never get to the point of “starving,” enabling us to make smarter choices and control our portion sizes.

Lori Rosenthal, MS, RD, CDN
Bariatric Dietitian
Department of Surgery
Montefiore Medical Center
Follow Lori on Twitter via @LoRoRD

Exercise Tips for New Moms by Tatum Rebelle

5 Essential Exercise Tips for New Moms

Get back to the basics:
Before resuming your exercise program post-delivery, always seek medical clearance from your doctor! It seems like there is always a new fitness trend promising quick and easy results. Do not fall for the marketing gimmicks! Stick to the fundamentals that have been proven to work.

For example, by exercising larger muscle groups you will burn more calories. Doing intervals is a great way to add intensity for even faster results. Walking each day is great exercise for both the mind and body.

Work smarter not harder:
Finding time to exercise as a new mom can be tough! Your daily workouts can be included in the activities that you’re already doing by learning exercises that include your baby.

Squats are tough on your thighs, and soothing for your baby. They can be done as you hold him or her against your chest and benefit you both. Exercises like pushups, plank, cat-cow, and bird-dog can be performed with your baby is lying underneath while giving them kisses and smiles. It’s a fun way to enjoy time together while also doing something good for you.

Invest in inexpensive equipment for your home like a stability ball and resistance band. That way there is no excuse not workout when you can’t get to the gym.

Walk before you run:
Build slowly back to your pre-pregnancy fitness routine. Do not simply jump right back in to what you were doing before.

It is necessary to repair the deeper ab muscles that have been stretched first. Do not start with crunches. You can begin to rehab your abs with deep breathing exercises, plank, bridge, and pelvic tilt.

If you were a runner then start with walking and jogging before returning to running. If you lifted heavy weights, start lighter and do high repetitions.

Simply going back to your old routine will do your body a disservice if you end up injured and can’t do anything at all.

Don’t compare:
Be patient and nice to yourself. Don’t compare your body or weight loss to celebrities. It is not fair to measure yourself next to someone who probably has a full-time trainer and chef, and whose profession possibly requires them to be a size 2.

Remember that it took 9 months to put the weight on, and to drop it overnight is not healthy or realistic. Steady, consistent exercise and weight loss is the best way to decrease fat and keep it off permanently.

Do them! I can’t stress this enough. Keeping your pelvic muscles strong is often overlooked, but so important.

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

Working out at the Gym: Is it for you? By Crystal Reia

Working out at a gym or at home? How do you know what’s the best and most effective venue for you?

Here are three major pro’s and con’s of working out a gym, as well as expert tips to get your best workout and pitfalls to avoid.

1. Pro: Group Exercise.

If you are outgoing and love group exercise, the gym might be right for you. Most gyms have a variety of group exercise classes you can choose from that will challenge you and keep your muscles guessing! Bring a friend and try out a class together! It is a fact that most people who participate in group exercise stick it out longer than going it alone.


Pitfall to avoid: Sometimes, classes can fill up quickly and be too crowded. So you may have to go early to ensure you have a spot. It is also harder for the instructor to stay on top of everyone’s form/technique in a larger class. So ensure you listen really well to what he or she has to say when it comes to performing the moves safely and correctly.


2. Pro: Variety.

There are plenty of machines and equipment at your disposal to incorporate into a variety of workouts. Be sure to learn how to use equipment correctly by enlisting the help of a personal trainers there who can show you if you feel overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! They are there to help!


Con: Again, sometimes gyms can be overcrowded, especially before or after regular 9-5 work hours. It can be hard to get on the machine you want, or use the equipment you want in a timely fashion. Instead of waiting for a machine, keep moving and ensure you are flexible enough to pick another exercise instead to keep your heart rate up and your muscles moving.


3. Pro: Focus.

Going to the gym usually offers less distraction to get your workout done. You are going there for the purpose of attending a class or doing a workout on your own.


Challenge: Getting to the gym can be half the battle. It’s easy to make excuses and choose to sit at home on the couch! However, this is bad for the pocketbook! You are now paying monthly for a service you are not using! Joining with a friend can help, as they may make you more accountable. However on the flip side if you have a lot of friends at the gym, it can turn into more of a social hour and you spend more time talking than actually working out. Picking a class can help you avoid this.


By: Crystal Reia, Personal Trainer

Owner of Your Health-Your Choice



Thinking about Another Diet? Think Again! By Gretchen Scalpi

Thinking about Another Diet? Think Again!

For those of you who have made multiple attempts at weight loss, following the latest diet craze is hard to resist.  After all, even though other diets have failed, you may think the latest new diet might finally be “the one that works”.  Remember The Cookie Diet, The Grapefruit Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet or The HCG diet?  One diet even recommended eating cotton balls before meals!  These crazy ideas can be hazardous to your health.  Do you know anyone who went on a crazy diet, lost weight and kept it off?

Over the years I have met so many people looking for the elusive diet plan that’s going to work for them.  Out of desperation they will try just about anything.  Well, here’s something you ought to know:  Diets are setup to fail!  It’s not the person who fails at dieting, it’s the diet that is a total failure.  Most of these plans are high on promises, but low on sensibility or long-term sustainability.

If you are checking out the latest, greatest diet, here’s a checklist of things to ask before you start yet another plan:

* Does it promise a quick, easy solution or fast weight loss?
* Is it less than 1,200 calories a day?
* Does it have too many rules about what you can and cannot eat?
* Does it eliminate entire food groups?
* Does it have a rigid plan that does not include your food preferences?
* Does it neglect guidelines for how to make healthy lifestyle changes?
* Does it rely on testimonials to show how effective it is?
* Does it focus on the sale of a product, such as special food or exercise equipment, as the sole way to achieve success?

If you came up with an answer of yes for one or more of these questions, you have just found another fad (or very restrictive) diet that’s going to fail you again.  Today there are so many more diet books, diet plans, and diet supplements to lure people into a false hope for quick and easy weight loss.

As unappealing and unexciting as this may sound, the truth of the matter is that there are no quick or easy ways to lose weight.  It takes effort, it takes patience, and most of all it involves making healthy lifestyle changes that are achieved over a period of time!  If you want lasting results, consider working one-on-one with a professional like a Registered Dietitian.

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Wellcoach®. Instead trying another fad diet plan purchase the book Gretchen created for you “The Quick Start Guide To Healthy Eating” at  The companion presentation “Virtual Grocery Store Tour” is available at

EVERY Workout Essentials by Gen Levrant

Had you asked me what the above were when I first became a Personal Trainer, I would have replied “warm up, resistance, cardio, core, cool down and stretching.” Six years and two diplomas later, my answer is now somewhat different!

This article hasn’t been written to instruct you on what you ‘should’ be doing when you work out. Everyone’s different personal goals make creating a universal instruction blueprint quite difficult! It is to share my thoughts from experience on what is essential in creating results from every workout.

Functional Purpose
What are you training for? Do you want to lose some stubborn inches? Improve your performance at your sport? Are you training for an event? Whatever your purpose, make your training functional TO it! For example, if you want to improve your soccer or tennis skills, do you really need to be doing deadlifts? If you want to decrease body fat, do you really need to pound the treadmill for hours and raise your cortisol (stress hormone) levels? Tailor your workouts to what you are trying to achieve. Even if your goal is maintaining your general health and well-being; purpose is essential to every workout. Using it to motivate you can be the difference in intending to work out and ACTUALLY working out!

Planning is another essential of every workout. Enough of us start the day with good intentions but events and distractions end up taking priority; thus putting back or even cancelling our workouts altogether. Try scheduling your workouts in your diary as if they were appointments with someone.  Technically…they are! Put your phone in flight mode, close the laptop, turn off the iPad, remove all distractions and dedicate at least twenty minutes to yourself.

3D Training
Training the body three-dimensionally is a big essential in every workout because this is how we are designed to move. Training your muscles and proprioceptors in the three planes of motion; frontal (left and right) sagittal (forward and back) and transverse (rotational) can enhance your results whatever your goal!

So the next time you come to work out (with purpose and zero distractions!) think about the plane of motion in which you are performing each exercise and stretch, and see how it feels to try another. You may, as I was after embracing this style of training for myself and my clients, be pleasantly surprised!

Gen Levrant is a Faster Health and Fitness certified Personal Trainer and Advanced Functional Training Specialist. She operates out of a private studio in Southampton, UK. For more info please visit or email