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Increase Muscle to Decrease Your Waistline

Losing weight and losing fat sound like the same thing. They can be the same thing, but sometimes they are very different. When you want to lose fat, building muscle is how you make this happen. You may see an increase in the number on the scale while you're seeing a decrease in your pants size. Confused? Don't worry, it'll all make sense in a minute.

Here's how it works.

Increasing your muscle mass can mean an increase your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). Your RMR  is the number of calories you burn in a day just existing all day long. Increasing this number means you'll burn more calories even when you're not exercising than you do right now. It's this increased rate of calorie burn all day long that results in weight loss. 

Fat does not weigh more than muscle.

This myth has gained more traction than any other misinformation in the fitness and nutrition world. One pound of fat = one pound of muscle. What's different is the density of fat vs. muscle. Muscle is more dense...

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It's Not You. It's the Fitness Industry

Does this sound familiar?

  • Feeling guilty about sneaking “forbidden” foods.
  • Exercising as a way to “make up for” (or punish yourself for) all those calories you ate. 
  • Binge eating because “I’ve already messed up so much today, why bother?"

This is what happens when food becomes something other than food. It becomes “friend” or “foe.”

Your food isn't friend or foe.

Too often, food becomes the villain in a bad B-movie.

  • It tempts you.
  • It controls you.
  • It laughs at you.

So you overdo it in your workout, hoping to save yourself from the evil food villain.

You go for an extra run, walk, ski, or bike ride.

You starve yourself for just one day.

You go to bed miserable, thinking, “I really messed up on my diet today. I’ll try again tomorrow.”

There will always be a reason to avoid change.

The problem is, there’s always something.

It sounds like this in your head:

  • “I can’t...
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Be Strong, First

Imagine boarding a train in Zurich, Switzerland, bound for France. You have a medium-sized backpack with you…it probably weighs 28 pounds…not heavy by backpacking standards.

You move to hoist your backpack into the overhead bin, get about 50% of the way there, and it won’t go up any further. Your tour guide (a guy who is about your height) leaps to your rescue. Without a word, he grabs your bag, tosses it in the overhead without a thought, and has a seat.

This happened to me a number of years ago, and the memory of it still smarts. I was grateful and humiliated at the same time.

When the gym doesn't translate into real life. 

How could I not lift my own bag?

I went to the gym all the time. I was 24 years old.  I ran, I took group fitness classes, I…I…I…I wasn’t strong enough to lift my own bag up to put it away.

A hard lesson to learn.

My entire life has been dedicated to being fit, active and healthy. It...

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Spring Clean Your Pantry

Make room for all of the freshness spring brings. 

Spring is in the air! Flowers are blooming, and birds are chirping.

Okay, this may not be true in Alaska, but that doesn't mean you can’t start spring cleaning!

You may think spring cleaning is just for your closets. Time to change out your winter clothes for shorts and tank tops.

It's time to clear out the kitchen closets.

Don't forget about the closet in your kitchen, otherwise known as the pantry. The pantry is one of the most overlooked areas of the house for spring cleaning.

Just like you wear different clothes in the spring and summer, you'll also eat different foods. Sure, there are some staples that you eat year-round, but as the sun warms you up, Mother Nature provides you with different food to eat.

During the cold winter months, you probably stock warm, comfort foods that can last a long time in your pantry.

Spring brings light, fresh meals that are easy to make. Now's the time to...

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The Secret Power of Beets

This humble veggie can slim you down and speed you up. 

More powerful than the spinach that Popeye used to eat, beets are a performance-enhancing powerhouse. 

I’m all for finding ways to enhance my own personal performance (and yours). If a food can help me run farther and faster, feel like I’m using less effort, and help me recover faster, I’m in!

And, before you start wondering…I’m no super athlete. I’m a slightly better than average, mid-life, lifelong active person. I’m a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach by trade, so while I’m consistently doing something, I’ve never been a champion athlete, but often place top third in my age category for running races. 

I’ve always known “beets are good for you.” They’re vegetables, so of course they’re good for you. 

I started hearing the buzz about them in athletic circles maybe 8 years ago. I was intrigued and, admittedly,...

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Starting From Zero, Getting to One

Lessons learned from rekindling my love affair with running.

Running and I suffered a serious breakup a number of years ago. We had been hot and heavy for a while in my 20s and 30s but lost the magic in my mid-40s.

Now, in my early 50s, I'm rekindling the relationship, and it's been very different. The red-hot excitement of the early days, embracing every challenge as quickly as I could, has cooled to a slow burn. I've lit the match and have been slowly reigniting things. This time, the goal is long-term smoldering. 

Off to a Slow Start. 

When I say slow, I mean really slow. Like one-mile-at-a-time slow.

Beginning January 1 this year, I set a goal to run a single mile every day. That was it. One mile. Every day. No excuses.

Running a single mile, especially if you have a history of running longer, sounds ridiculous. There are so many reasons not to:

  • It'll take almost as much time to change into running clothes as it will to run the mile.
  • It's such a short distance;...
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Is the Sugar in Fruit Bad for You?

Are smoothies healthy? Are they really just sugar bombs masquerading as health food?

A couple of weeks ago, I asked the question, do you need protein powder? in my Tipsy Tuesday email. That grew into a blog post and an article posted on a platform called Medium.

You know I love answering questions. I find that if one person has a question, many of you have the same question. 

Here's one that came in yesterday: 

What are your suggestions for watching sugars in fruits and vegetables?

I love this question. It's simple and demonstrates how confusing nutrition in the popular press can be. 

The TLDR (too long, didn't read) answer 

The short answer is that you don't have to worry about the sugar you eat in fruits and veggies. At all. You cannot overdose on fruit or veggies. 

While fruit does contain sugar, it's packaged completely differently from sugar that is added to processed foods and fruit drinks.

  • The simple sugar in...
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Does Alcohol Effect Weight Loss? You Bet'cha!

“I lost 30 pounds and it’s all your fault.”

As a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach, these words are usually music to my ears. But this greeting came from someone who wasn’t my client. She was an acquaintance and former client (from 10+ years ago). We run into each other occasionally, and often our conversations meander around to weight, food, and health. For purposes of this article, I’ll call her Annie.

“Hooray,” I said, “What did you do?”

“I took your advice and stopped drinking.”

Wow! I often advise my weight-loss clients to stop drinking if they are serious about losing weight. It’s a rare moment when that advice is heeded, and the results are so tangible.

Annie didn’t drink to excess. She is the president of a non-profit though, so wining and dining clients and donors is a regular part of her job. She attends events, dinners, and lunches regularly where she may have 1-2 drinks and maybe enjoy...

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Vegetarian, Vegan, Whole-Food Plant-Based? What's the Difference?


There’s no denying the rise of plant-based eating worldwide. Take a walk through any grocery store aisle, and the term “plant-based” pops up everywhere, from the chips aisle to the cleaning products. According to Good Food Institute (an industry group based in the US), sales of plant-based products are growing faster than total food sales.

What do the terms have in common? 

Vegan, vegetarian, and whole food plant-based eating all encourage you to reduce or eliminate meat, dairy, eggs, and other animal-based foods from your diet. On the surface, the terms may seem interchangeable, but there are significant differences between them. If you’re new to healthy eating, the terms can be very confusing.

In this article, I’ll explore the differences between all 3 of these lifestyle choices and the health benefits/risks associated with them, with an eye to clearing up the confusion these terms can create. 

Ready? Here we go.


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Do You Need Protein Powder?

“What protein powder should I use?” As a Personal Trainer, fitness business owner, and nutrition coach, I hear this question almost every day from clients. It doesn’t matter what goals they are working on (weight loss, strength gain, muscle building). It seems to be common knowledge that to be healthy, you need protein powder in your life.

Just because something is generally accepted as true doesn’t mean that it is. For centuries, we believed that the earth was flat. We now know it’s not.

So, is it true?

Do you need protein powder to be healthy?

I’ll start by saying protein is an important part of the health equation. You need to eat protein daily to maintain a healthy body.

Here’s why protein is important.

Protein is made of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of human tissue. This is true for muscles, skin, organs, and even bones, which are 50% protein. Everything that makes the human body what it is requires amino...

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