Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Fun, Festive Twist to Butter Biscuits

You might like this because it's yummy, full of antioxidants, omega 3s, vegan friendly and kind of sweet--minus the saturated fat.

We tried it at first with real squash. It was... alright. A little too sweet--and it had a bitter aftertaste. (It was probably the type of squash. Butternut might have been wonderful.)

We tried it, again, with sweet potatoes and with no sweetener. It received much better ravings.

So here it is. Try it.

Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits

2 cups cooked & mashed sweet potatoes
6 Tbs canoloa oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 Tbs and 1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs cinnamon (or to your preference)
4-6 Tbs of water set aside

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease baking sheet with light cooking spray.

2) Mash potatoes and mix with canola oil, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and sea salt.

3) In a separate bowl combine flour and baking powder.

4) Using a fork, stir together all the ingredients and add 4 to 6 Tbs of water--whatever is needed to get the dough to pull together better.

5) Drop golf-sized balls of dough onto baking pan or sheet.

6) Let cook for 15 minutes, check and continue to bake until the biscuits are golden brown and firm.

*This recipe is adapted from a sweeter recipe found in Vegetarian Times, October 2007

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The One Thing that Makes Weight Loss Stick

Ever started an exercise program to lose weight and start to gain weight?

Today, the talk is about muscles. There's more than just a number on the scale to think about.

So first, let’s talk about the original scenario...

New exerciser gains weight. Why?

Gained lean muscle mass is heavier than fat. It’s not a myth. It’s absolutely true.

But if weight loss is the ultimate goal… Why is this a good thing?

After all, you want to lose weight. Not train like a bodybuilder.

Three letters—BMR. What is this? Basal Metabolic Rate. Basically, it’s how much energy is used up by your body if you lay in bed all day long. The more muscles you have, the more energy is needed to feed them.

In other words, if you’re not about constricting your diet to water, greens and grapefruit, there’s help for losing weight—gain lean muscle mass. It’s much healthier and the weight usually stays off for longer.

So, if muscle mass can be gained, can it be lost?

Absolutely. It’s like Newton’s law. Things that grow also shrink. (Okay, not quite the same, but you get the picture.)Technically speaking, it’s atrophy.

How does muscle atrophy happen? And is it really bad?

It can happen a couple different ways.The first two ways are often the result of one person's attempt to lose weight...

1) Not enough total calories—for their size and activity.

Thus the body feeds on itself. You read that right. Our bodies are cannibals. Proteins inside muscle cells can be broken down for energy. You’re creating a toxic environment in your body if this happens too much and too often. (And you sure won't feel good.)

2) Not enough protein—for their size and activity.

This man or woman may be getting plenty of calories—maybe even excess calories, but if there is inadequate protein supply for muscle maintenance, it will feed itself again on the protein in existing muscle fibers. Again, toxic environment. And again, you won’t feel good. (Not too mention you’re losing your little fat-burning machine!)

3) Disuse, illness and aging.

Disuse results in poor muscle tone and likely more body fat.

Muscle lost during age and disease affects muscle composition—the different types of muscle fibers responsible for stamina, strength and endurance. As a result, less contraction and less tone, more body fat and less desire to be physically active.

Fortunately, exercise and nutrition can prevent muscle loss and in healthy individuals create stronger, toned muscles and thus, stronger, healthier bodies.

So muscle growth is good... Muscle loss is not...

But do you still hate the thought of getting all "bulky"?

As the National Federation of Personal Trainers writes in their certifying manual, the type of muscle fibers within each muscle group in both random and genetically predetermined proportions… Muscle tissue structure and shape are strictly genetic.

What’s that mean to you?

Basically, there are 3 types of muscle fibers: red slow twitch, red fast twitch and white fast twitch.

(Patience here. This will mean something in a second.)

People who have it in their DNA to have more white fast twitch muscle fibers—have more potential to get bigger, shapelier muscles. They are naturally strong and speedy.

But unless they train like the magazine models, working 5 to 6 times a week just on weight—even they won’t get that huge bulky muscles. A twice a week weight training routine just won't do that. And even light 5 times a week probably won't get them to their potential either.

On the other hand, it is possible to bulk up--but bulking is not all lean muscle; it includes fat. Be honest with yourself. Are you really gaining all lean muscle mass? If you're gaining muscle and fat, it's not your weight routine it's your nutrition. (Although, if you are a body builder, this is a positive thing. The shredding comes later.)

Now, let’s talk about people who genetically have more red fast twitch muscle fibers. These people are not going to experience the same growth results as their white-twitch-blessed friend. But they can be very strong and a natural choice for sports that require stamina, kickboxing and soccer for example.

And finally, there are those who have more red slow twitch fibers in their muscle composition. Their muscles, with the same routine as the red fast twitched friends will respond differently and will not likely ever reach anything that looks bulky. Their natural athletic ability is often endurance… By the way? All the best endurance runners incorporate some type of resistance training.

In fact, unless there’s some sort of injection, it’s physiologically impossible to change shape of your muscles. (Some of us will never have huge impressive ______ (fill-in-the-blank). Darn.)

Fortunately, a good weight training routine looks good on everyone—no matter their genetics. Combining increased muscle mass and decreased body fat is always a sure bet for fitness success.

So, what do you do with all this information?

Here are some thoughts... First, analyze your exercise program. Are you working on muscle tone?

Secondly, are you expecting results that are physiologically impossible.

Work out hard, incorporate resistance training, but accept the body you were born in. It’s beautiful and more importantly it can be sculpted, changed and beautified all the while staying strong through the ages.

Final note… In a 1993 study on Sarcopenia and Age-Related Changes in Body Composition
and Functional Capacity, researchers compared a group of (average) 69 year old athletes to similar athletes in their 20s. The athletes were categorized as: runners, swimmers, weight lifters.

The results? All of the older men had less strength than their 20-something counterparts, EXCEPT for the weight lifters. The older weight lifters were just as strong as the 20-somethings!

The take away—don’t forget about the muscles. Train them. Get those dumbbells out, use the machine, use your body weight. Strong muscles will help you...

1) Lose and maintain a healthy weight
2) Get (and keep) a better body shape
3) Retain strength for balancing (aging bring inevitable body changes)
4) Feel good --loss of strength contributes to feeling tired and weak.
5) Age slower and more gracefully.

Happy Thanksgiving all. And—talk about muscle disuse—-you have no excuse, I have a brand new body toning/sculpting class. Plan ahead and make appointments with fitness. Don’t let the holiday rush take you five steps back in your fitness goals.

Start 2011 strong. Call me. (231) 773-8926 or e-mail me at

Ask me about my classes or setting up a free initial consultation for one-on-one personal training. Accelerate the change!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Class Announcements: NOVEMBER 18TH


On November 18th, the morning outdoor class at 10:30 will be canceled--this a Thursday of this week. It will resume on November 19th, same place and same time.

But, no worries, morning warriors, you can make up that one morning class with a brand new class.



WHAT: A fun twist on all-over-body toning, all Boualem's style--you never know what might get thrown in. The focus is body transformation.

In other words, firm up and tone, twice a week, 2 hours.

WHERE: 32 E. Broadway at the Muskegon Heights Korean Karate Academy

WHEN: Starting November 18, 2010, a Thursday @ 9am to 10am. It will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays, same time slot.

I love classes--not just because I teach them and get a thrill out of it, but because I see how EFFECTIVE the group atmosphere is!


Come on out. This is a great way to avoid holiday weight gain and holiday stress. Stay energized in the shorter days of winter.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Monday, October 25th, is our last evening class at Lake Harbor Park.
Morning classes will continue Monday through Saturday from 10:30 to 11:30 AM.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Body Fat Facts

What's a healthy weight? What's attractive? What's a better gauge of weight loss progression? These are common questions. And most of it relates to body fat...

1) Body fat is vital.We can not live on lean weight alone.
Minimum body fat percentage for men is 5% and for women, 12%.

2) Minimum body fat is NOT a healthy goal.
In fact, sports medicine experts say that there is no evidence of benefit for men dropping their body fat percentage beyond 8%, and for women, below 14%.

3) Too much body fat is risky. Too much body fat increases the risk for disease and inevitably, premature death. For men (depending on age) 20-25% is considered obese. For women (depending on age), it's between 33-36%.

4) There is no exact "ideal" body fat percentage. There are categories--generalizations, but I'm not bothering posting this information. Why? Not only is there a difference between men and women, there's just a big difference between individuals, body types, body shapes, etc. A healthy body fat percentage should feel good--not restricted and not overindulged.

5) Body fat distribution is an important predictor of adverse health consequences. Unless you have very little body fat, it is easy to see where your body fat is distributed. Often, your body shape will tell you. For example, apple shapes collect a lot of fat around the abdomen or belly. This puts the person at risk for certain diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. For those who collect more fat in the bottom half, adverse health consequences are often bone and joint related problems. (But not necessarily limited to.)

6) Lowering your body fat through exercise and weight loss improves physical functioning. In other words, the overweight person who exercises (but does not lose weight) will not reap the full benefits of physical exercise.

7) Lowering your body fat will give the body a "shredded" or "ripped" appearance. Professional body builders drop their body fat pre-contest to get the look you see in magazines and on television, but it is risky business--they know what they're doing usually, and they have spent a great deal of energy focusing on building muscle first. Also, the drastic reduction of body fat is for short periods only.

8) For women, lowering your body fat to an athletic or competitive body fat percentage results in loss of certain feminine appeal. The breasts consists mostly of adipose tissue--fat tissue. When the body fat drops, the bra size changes. It's normal. Some women choose breast augmentation, others choose to enjoy their fit body as is--healthy and natural.

Note: Irregular menstruation and lack of menstruation is thought to be related to low body fat, but studies have not proven a direct link. It may relate more directly to those with eating disorders and extreme weight loss.

9) Reduction in body fat is a better indicator of healthy weight loss than the scale. Many times weight loss as seen on the scale, especially rapid weight loss, is simply loss of water or in cases of calorie restriction, loss of muscle mass. In a healthy fitness and nutrition program designed to help you lose weight, you will more quickly note healthy change by monitoring body fat percentage.

Best body fat advice? Grow your muscles! Women, did you know that after turning 30 years old you lose 1% of your muscle tissue each year unless you're undergoing some sort of resistance training? Our muscles affect our metabolism. Keep them stimulated. Don't waste away. (And men, what you don't use, you can lose too.)

If you're on a mission to lower body fat sensibly, what are you waiting for? Contact me, and we can discuss the options. Whether it's a one-on-one personal training session, outdoor group training or an intense fat-burning kickboxing class, I will help you succeed.


Despite the cool new moves in the most current body building books and magazines, there are some things that don't change. I'll let you in on the basics of bodybuilding, month by month. If you want to transform your body into a calorie-burning, sculpted machine, pay attention.

This month's spotlight? ABS!

My big 3 for the ABS are: THE BICYCLE, HANGING LEG RAISES, & EXERCISE BALL CRUNCH And, if you don't have a power tower or captain's chair for the hanging leg raises, throw in the VERTICAL LEG CRUNCH.

*A note with exercise ball crunches, recent studies using electromyogram (EMG) to measure muscle activity found that these crunches are superior to the floor crunch only if the ball is nestled in the lower back area. It is actually inferior to the floor crunch when the ball is placed beneath the shoulders and upper back region.

That's it for this month... Stay fit 'n healthy! And remember, FREE INITIAL FITNESS CONSULTATIONS! Ask me about it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How to Enjoy Fall's Festive Foods Without Guilt or Weight Gain

Boualem's Fit 'N Healthy Times, September mid-month edition


There's something about the return of cool weather and a warm kitchen. People are talking about food everywhere I go--it's pie season, you know. And if they are not cooking, they're ordering out the foods they're suddenly craving--meaty, potatoey, stewy, soupy, creamy, rich and/or luscious.

Fall is great in Michigan, but temptation to eat more fatty filling foods to prepare for a snowy blowy winter is probably not just in our head.

But the truth of the matter! (Cold, hard truth!) Your cravings are not nutrient-necessary. Nor is it relevant in a modern, relatively wealthy society. With 24/7 super markets and food stations, most of us don't need to bulk up for fear of food shortages.

Yeah, sure a couple extra pounds hidden by sweaters and shed in spring isn't going to hurt those who maintain a healthy weight. Weight maintenance is a balancing act. However, the average adult does not shed yearly weight gain.

So, when you're putting your summer clothes away and getting out fall/winter clothes or thinking of ordering a large mocha with whipped cream for the fourth time this week, remember: Weight maintenance is not seasonal.


Despite what I just wrote, you have to know that I love food. I love eating. And I love foods that are not on Muscle & Fitness Clean Eating List!

So, my advice on the best of both worlds. Enjoy life. Grab a hold of your mixing bowl and spoon, enjoy the fall foods. But remember BALANCE!

But what does "balance" look like when giving in to "a-moment-on-your-lips-and-forever on-your-hips" kind of temptation?

1) Immediately ration the prized creation - think small portions and freeze leftovers so it can't be consumed in one guilt-ridden binge-fest
2) Share excess goodies with neighbors and friends
3) Serve healthy sides so that you don't fill up all on one heavy dish!
4) Eat a small balanced meal before dishing out dessert
5) Don't make yourself feel bad! Guilt and fear will only create more temptation to indulge all the time!
6) Keep fitness a priority--it may not be your highest priority, but keep it on the list.

As for a healthy recipe, we're referring you to a local CSA blog for an appetizing, different kind of radish salad. Check it out and eat well!

Do you need help keeping fitness a priority this fall? Contact me!
I've got many options--from one-on-one personal training to group training, outdoor training and VERY SOON kickboxing. Whoo-hoo! I'm excited for fall.

HARBOR PARK OUTDOOR WORKOUT ANNOUNCEMENT: Time change for Tuesday and Thursdays.

Keep up-to-date with schedule changes on Facebook. (Friend me--Boualem Aggoune!)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Solo or Group Exercises--What recharges you?

They say that if you look at two different personality types of people, the extrovert and the introvert, they're both unique in the way in which they recharge. Extroverts-the outgoing and more outspoken personality-get recharged in group settings. Introverts, however, crave alone time, and feel rejuvenated after quiet alone time.

Just understanding your personality type can help you find an exercise routine that will become what exercise should be--therapeutic, fun, reinvigorating!

But whether you prefer working out with a buddy or two--three, four or ten, or whether you enjoy going solo with just you and your music, I'm learning that all personality types get a charge out of an occasional group fitness setting, extroverted or not. It's like being a kid again and playing with all your cousins at the reunion. Sure, you may not know them that well, but you have fun together! And if you keep coming to the gathering, they become friends!

So, what am I saying? Whether you're a solo or group exerciser, try a fitness class. If it doesn't enhance your fitness life--which I'm betting it will--it will enhance your social life. Introverts may try to deny it, but the truth is: people need people--period! A smile and a kind word always lift the spirit!

Speaking of classes, a good dose of exercise, mixed with socialization and placed in the outdoor air is a recipe for good health, inside and out. Come to a class at Lake Harbor Park, Norton Shores. We meet in the parking lot and take it out to the beach. It's a great time. The people are nice, the instructor is fun to make fun of and you will be recharged.

How much?
Just $5 per class, free for 17 years and under. And if you're really recharged and love the group setting, there are discounts for multiple sessions within a week. I like to keep this commitment-free. You only pay for what you want--and what you want often changes weekly. I understand!

Of course, if you're a more introverted personality but like the idea of personalized instruction, contact me. I offer free initial consultations and short- term packages just to get you conditioned and ready for an independent exercise program!


Despite the cool new moves in the most current body building books and magazines, there are some things that don't change. I'll let you in on the basics of bodybuilding, month by month. If you want to transform your body into a calorie-burning, sculpted machine, pay attention.

This month's spotlight? LEGS!

My big 3 for the LEGS are: LUNGES, SQUATS, DEADLIFTS. No big surprise if you've ever spent time exercising either with a trainer, fitness class or video...

Just to let you know, if you're a cardiovascular king or queen and enjoy running and other leg-emphasizing exercise, this is good, but it's not enough. If you want tight, toned, sculpted legs, you have to do resistance exercise. If you want to prevent injury and keep running--or whatever it is, these three exercises will keep you on your course.

AND for the weight lifter, DO NOT not train legs. I don't care what your excuse is. If you only work your upper body, you'll create unhealthy imbalance. Do it consistently and (good form too, and) you'll see great results.

That's it for this month...Stay tuned this month, as we'll feature some healthy recipes and other fitness/health morsels.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Healthy Breakfast Ideas & Exciting Outdoor Fitness Ops

Our August Fit 'N Healthy Time E-letter was void a featured recipe! OH NO! To make up for it, we've got a couple of great breakfast ideas we love!

But before that, we've got some great, AFFORDABLE, local fitness opportunities--all meeting at the scenic Norton Shores park, Lake Harbor Park. Here's the schedule and pricing.

Monday through Thursday -- 10:30 to 11:30 am

Monday/Wednesday -- 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Tuesday/Thursday -- 7:15 to 8:15 pm

The rates per class are $5. However, if you plan on being there as much as possible, we have multiple weekly session discounts and a monthly unlimited sessions plan, too.

Speaking of kids, kids 17 and under work out for free! I want to lighten the load for parents and kids!

For more information contact me! Friend me on Facebook and you can get daily workout reminders and announcements too. Just search for me: Boualem Aggoune!

WHAT TO BRING??? While we're taking it in the water--the water temp has been PERFECT.... bring a towel, some sandals or flip-flops for after the class, plenty of water to drink and depending on the time of day, sunscreen. Otherwise that, just bring YOU and someone you want to get fit with! SEE YOU SOON.

FUN, FIT BREAKFAST IDEAS (Besides Oatmeal & Egg Whites!)

Nutritious eating is about deprivation and starvation?!? Au contraire! It's about eating, enjoying what you're eating and knowing that what you're eating has not only immediate benefits, but long-lasting benefits.

Eat! The body needs food. But eat well. A wholesome, well-rounded breakfast is an important key to a smooth-running metabolism.

Place 1 cup of old fashioned oats in hot skillet. Stir and cook until oats brown. Mix with unsalted, roasted sunflowers and raisins. Store in container and use to sprinkle on PLAIN, REDUCED FAT YOGURT. Layer with blueberries or strawberries or a natural (and reduced sugar) fruit spread and it makes a great parfait.

2. WHOLE WHEAT CREPES: Who said French crepes have to be unhealthy?!? There's always a healthier twist... But you might want to skip the Nutella!

1 C whole wheat flour
3 eggs
2 cups of fat-free milk
2 T of canola oil or walnut oil
1/4 salt - optional
1 t sugar - totally optional

Mix batter. (It will be runny.) Let stand overnight for best results. Place 1/4 C of batter in hot griddle and spread batter by tilting griddle. It will take a little longer than regular pancakes on each side, maybe about 2 minutes--until a little browned. If you're not used to making crepes it takes practice to get a nice rounded crepe, but the taste is what counts. Healthy fillers are naturally sweetened jam or grilled/baked fruit. Low-fat cheeses also work nice in a crepe.

Just remember--save some room for protein. Don't fill up on carbs.

3.) WHOLE WHEAT PROTEIN PANCAKES - A meal in one. For best results, avoid the temptation of drowning your pancake in syrup. Choose a fruit spread instead.

2 scoops whey protein (preferably the pure kind--unsweetened, etc.)
1 c whole wheat flour (red wheat flour)
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt--dissolved in buttermilk
1 large egg
1/2 c canola oil

Mix all dry ingredients, except the sea salt. Whisk the wet ingredients including the sea salt and combine with dry ingredients. Use 1/4 c of batter per pancake and cook in non-stick skillet or skillet until it bubbles and flip.

4. THE JUICIEST IDEA -- We don't drink juice. That makes it simple. But for all those juice people, here's a great idea to cut down on fast carb calories. Instead of drinking a full glass of juice, use half juice and half carbonated water. That's what the French do... Errr, well, that's what author of French Women Don't Get Fat says. (Which by the way--kind of snobby and kind of right on the money, but French people don't really know a whole lot about nutrition. (And that's coming from a French guy!)


Oh, you've seen those ads for Frosted Mini Wheats, right? Kids going off to school full of fiber and full of focus. Hmmm. Focus? For how long? I love Frosted Mini Wheats, and considering some cereals, they probably do keep kids fuller longer, but have you taken a look at the sugar in those cereals? Unless your kids aren't eating anything else with sugar for the rest of the day, it's too much per serving!

If you or your children must eat cereal, choose the unsweetened brands. And some nutritionists recommend putting sugar bowls back on the breakfast table. Most likely the kids (or the grown-up) will add less sugar than what the sweetened cereals contain or it will remain at the bottom of the bowl with the leftover milk!

One more breakfast note--don't forget the protein. It takes more than whole grains and carbohydrates to keep your brain fresh and focused. Choose an egg, natural peanut butter (think NO extra ingredients, like the KREMA brand), PLAIN yogurt and even REDUCED-FAT cheese--stop worrying about fat myths and calories and think about balanced health! Most kids and working adults won't eat for hours after their first meal.

Hope you enjoyed this mid-month morsel. Bon appetit, and see you at the park! We've got a few more day of WATER WORKOUTS. Let's not miss out before the fall chill.

Did you miss out on August's E-letter? Take a look right here:

Monday, August 9, 2010



Another BEACH WORKOUT ala Boualem!

WHEN? Monday & Wednesday Evenings @ 6 PM.
WHERE? Lake Harbor Park, Norton Shores
(Take Pontaluna west toward and past P.J. Hoffmaster, past Maranatha, on your left after the bridge.)

Meet in the parking lot and we'll take it on out to the beach.

Bring water to drink, a towel (or two) and wear clothes you don't mind getting wet (or dirty)! It's fun and fresh air!

Don't waste anymore days of summer....


Looking for Tuesday & Thursdays classes at the beach????
7:15 PM!!!!

Contact us for more details.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rethinking Exercise, part 2 (Time & Attitude)

I asked a busy mom of 5 young children how she makes time for fitness--no gym membership, no personal trainer and no nanny! This is what she says:

Well, right now the training program only takes about 25 minutes and if one is honest, they can find 25 minutes to do something if they REALLY WANT TO. To say "I don't have 25 minutes to exercise" is a cop out, in my opinion.

I find that if I don't do it sometime in the morning, it doesn't get done. Once the twins go down for their morning nap, I tell the older children I'm going to exercise and I get on the treadmill. I'm firm about this. They aren't allowed to talk to me or ask me any questions. On the weekend, my husband knows that if its my morning to run (right now its every other day) then that is my top priority, period. I don't care if we are late. He will let me exercise or I won't go . . . . . whereever it is he might want or need to go.

The fact of the matter is that our families will make their priority whatever we impress upon them is OUR priority. At some point in time, I HAVE to take care of myself. That is reasonable. EVERYONE has needs, including Mom.

That might sound a little harsh but its been a journey to get myself there and my family now understands that for these moments when Mom is exercising, Mom is first, and that is ok.

As a personal trainer, I love reading this! Don't get me wrong, I love training people. That's my job--my passion. But when I see this kind of self-motivation, I am thrilled. I wished everyone would have this kind of attitude. This mom--who has plenty of excuses NOT to exercise knows what I know: exercise is more than beneficial. It's essential. And thank you Kelly! Keep at it.

Here's a thought... If you don't know how to take care of yourself, how can you know how to take care of others?

Looking Past the Barrier
Many times, the reason for not exercising is a lack of vision. Sure, you have visions of a fit, trim beach bods, but the picture of the path getting you there is blurred. It's marred by misconceptions--that exercise is hard, a burden and time-consuming... If this is you, you're missing the best part! Exercise is a gift all by itself.


1.) Exercise has immediate benefits!
For example: Exercise reduces stress--naturally and clears the mind. People who exercise actually sleep better and have more self-confidence. A little bit of self-confidence can do amazing things for relationships, careers and general quality of life.

2.) Exercise is fun--find YOUR thing! There's something out there for everyone! Timid young ladies may find their love for boxing. Macho men may find yoga exhilarating! Be open to new things. There isn't just one way to get fit.

3.) Exercise gives back time! You read it right. When you go home from work or school, really--how productive are you? You're all tired out! Make time for exercise and I guarantee, you're going to have more energy and get more things done after work than you ever have!

4.) Exercise fights depression. This goes along with #1-3. Exercise helps our bodies naturally feel better. It's an actual physical thing, too--it's not just all in our heads.

5. Exercise has many definitions. Think outside of the body-building box. If you can take five minute breaks every hour, take some time to clear your head and do something physical. Do a couple set of wall push-ups one time, dips another time, walk briskly up and down there stairs the next time... You really won't break that much of a sweat.


Despite the cool new moves in the most current body building books and magazines, there are some things that don't change. I'll let you in on the basics of bodybuilding, month by month. If you want to transform your body into a calorie-burning, sculpted machine, pay attention.

This month's spotlight? SHOULDERS!

Don't forget shoulders in the workout routine! (And I'm really talking to the ladies here. Most weight-lifting men wouldn't dare miss shoulders!) It's good for posture--and it looks great! Strong shoulders complete and compliment the silhouette.


I advise many to do their shoulders all on a day of their own. For the serious bodybuilders, I also prescribe trapezoid (traps) exercises on shoulders day. (Trapezoids are muscles in the back, often not targeted in certain back exercises.)

Coming mid-month...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rethinking Exercise, part 1 (Time & Attitude)

Jill thinks about exercise a lot. But in the past three years, life has become very chaotic. A husband, a house, babies and a lots of time holding children... She used to work out for an hour, but finding an hour to workout now?!? Seems impossible.

Jack would like to get fit too. But he's awfully busy. Family obligations extending outside of his immediate family and a pressing career makes it difficult to prioritize time away from home. And when he does have me-time, the last thing he wants to do is break a sweat. (He does enough of that at corporate meetings.)

Okay... Jack and Jill are fictional people! But I think it's easy to relate. Life is hectic. It's hectic for the college student working to pay herself through college. It's hard for the new mom who's still transitioning to care-giver and it's hard for the single, ambitious men and women working hard to build businesses, careers and give back to the community.

But what separates the people who find time for exercise from the people who don't?

Simply put--attitude.

Here are 6 great attitudes to beat out excuses...

Yes, I'm busy, but I need to care for my body because I value my body and balance.

Yes, I'd like to spend valuable time building relationships, but I will be more available and re-energized if I take care of myself.

Yes, I can't get through all my workout today, but I will do part of it.

Yes, I've fallen off the band wagon, but I'm not giving up.

Yes, I can workout where ever I am--the whole world is a gym. (Even the office!)

Yes, I may not look like an athlete, but I am an athlete.

Yes, I don't feel like exercising, but I will! I know in the end, I'll feel better for it!

A lot of people think that if they could afford a personal trainer, everything would fall into place. I'm going to share a piece of truth that is not good for business. YOU don't need a personal trainer. (I mean, sure, I can help, but...) What any Jack or Jill needs is simply this: attitude and action.

Get into action today. It may seem like a futile effort to do just 10 minutes of exercise, but 10 minutes is 10 minutes. Just as gaining weight at half a pound a week can make a big difference in weight gain. 10 minutes of activity a day can make a difference--especially if you choose to pair your new routine with conscience eating.

It's like saving money. If you have the attitude that $5 a week isn't a large enough sum to put on the side--and anything over that is hard to come by--then most likely, you won't ever have that nest egg you wish you'd have.

Rethink your idea of exercise and do what you can as often as you can.

Need some help for getting ideas on how to incorporate exercise into your busy life? Let us know, we'd love to help. E-mail us today!


An I-can't attitude suffocates! So! I'm incorporating a mental exercise in today's newsletter... It's taken from a book on organization, but it works with anything, including eating healthier, finding time for exercise and transforming castles in the air into real-life castles.

1) Write on a piece of paper what you can't do.
Example: I can't exercise because I can't find the time.

2.) Replace the I can't to I don't.
Example: I don't exercise because I don't find the time.

3.) Replace don't with won't.
Example: I won't exercise because I won't find the time.

4.) Replace I won't with I can.
Example: I can exercise because I can find the time.

This is a pretty simple exercise, but how many times do we tell ourselves that we "can't" do something when really we can?!? We just need to face the fear behind "I can't" and build determination.


Despite the cool new moves in the most current body building books and magazines, there are some things that don't change. I'll let you in on the basics of bodybuilding, month by month. If you want to transform your body into a calorie-burning, sculpted machine, pay attention.

This month's spotlight? THE TRICEPS!

Everybody likes a firm bicep, but what about the back of the arm, the tricep? Here's a prescription for a jiggle-free wave or for the more ambitious--rippled waves!


I like to work my triceps with my back. But of course, what-you-work-when depends on your training style and whose personal professional opinion you value most.


Citrus-Fresh Bean Salad

What a fresh way to fuel! This fiber-packed salad has all kinds of benefits--high in iron, high in protein and all kinds of yummy antioxidants!

15 oz of cooked black beans
8 oz of cooked garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 medium bell pepper, diced (orange or yellow for great color appeal)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 large ripe avocado
1/4 c onion
1 tablespoon lemon, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil


1. Rinse beans and place in salad bowl.

2. Add diced peppers, halved tomatoes, diced onion and sliced avocado.

3. Squeeze half a lemon or add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

4. Add olive oil and desired seasonings--we like just a dash of sea salt and ground black pepper.

5. Toss and enjoy.

Serving Size 110.5g or 3.9 oz
Amount Per Serving
Calories 235
Calories from Fat 48
Total Fat 5.3g
Saturated Fat 0.8g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
*Sodium 9mg
Total Carbohydrates 36.9g
Dietary Fiber 10.4g
Sugars 4.1g
Protein 12.0g
Vitamin A 11% Vitamin C 32%
Calcium 7% Iron 18%
^ Based on a 2000 calorie diet
*Does not account for added seasonings.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Contact Us UPDATE

We're having some technical issues with our website contact us form, as well as our ORIGINAL e-mail,

If you'd like to contact us, please give us a call or e-mail us at our alternate e-mail address.

Here are those details...
Phone: (231) 773-8926
Alt. e-mail:

*Note: As of late June, both e-mails are up and running...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Big Brother's Guide to Summer

Boualem's Fit 'N Healthy Times, June 2010

It's hard to imagine a summer without one. The cut foot on beach grass, sprained ankle, a bad sunburn, heat exhaustion...

Let's face it. Even the most sensible adult can forget to play it safe in summer. Maybe it's all the sun, the heat or the frozen drinks that flip the switch from on guard to on vacation. I don't know, but it sure can ruin a good time.

Today, we're focusing on the many ways you can have an adventure-filled, easy weight-loss and injury-free season! Who wants a lumbar injury when you know you're going out wind surfing adventure the next day. And if you didn't know, Muskegon is a great place to learn how to kite surf!

1.) Limit the alcohol.

I know! I'm such a party pooper, but not only is alcohol a waste of unnecessary calories, money, et cetera, it's a great way to dehydrate your system. And most people run around half way dehydrated in the summer without the alcohol. Enjoy alcohol like you'd enjoy a rich dessert, in very small portions on rare occasions.

2.) Be careful with caffeine.

Coffee is touted as healthy and great for the mind and your workout. But most people consume too much and therefore reap more disadvantages than advantages. If you indulge in caffeine drink extra water and don't over do it. Just like alcohol, it's a diuretic and too often it replaces liquids that hydrate.

3.) Lay off the salty snacks & lay on the H2O!

Between the parties and the beach or pool trips there is a bounty of salty snacks and foods, and all while we're sweating and being active. Choose unsalted nuts and other low sodium snack options. I can't say enough about the importance of staying hydrated in summer. You'll feel better, look better and function better.

4.) Beware of posture.

There is proper form for everything. Whether you're out in the garden, playing by the lake or working out in the basement, make sure you're not setting yourself up for unnecesary injury.

WEIGHT LIFTING TIP!!! In most exercises, the chest should be open, shoulders back, abdominals in and equal weight distribution through the feet. Never round your back--unless you're doing abdominal work.

GARDEN & CHORE TIP!!! Always lift with your legs--get in the squatting position when lifting heavy items and don't lift something you know you need help with. Have patience and get some help.

5.) Check your shoes.

Keep your feet, ankles, knees and back healthy by wearing the proper shoes and replacing worn shoes.

What is proper?

For hiking and many group aerobic classes, you'll want something that will provide some ankle support. If you have an arch--take care of the arch and buy shoes that provide that sort of support. Also, despite the appearance of your shoes, replace running shoes frequently. They may look in perfectly good shape, but if suddenly your knees, heels, feet or back is hurting, invest in new ones.

6.) Women--wear the right bra!

Some women don't have to worry too much, but large-breasted women should make sure they're providing their chest with as much support as possible. This protects the precious back from unnecessary strain.

7.) Watch the weather when playing outdoors!

I'm going to sound like a parent here, but remember, don't go swimming, running or hiking when it's lightening... Your workout can wait--really! Oh, and in case you forget, never seek shelter under a tall tree. (Zap!)

Also, to prevent heat exhaustion, try to do your workout in the early morning or evening. AND NEVER try to sweat fat off by layering on the clothes. (You'll only dehydrate yourself and end up in the hospital.)

And finally... Wear sunscreen on sunny and cloudy days. A bad burn can ruin a whole vacation.

8.) Condition before trying barefoot running!

Barefoot running is all the rage and has its benefits, but please be cautious. Interested runners should never jump into barefoot running but slowly ease into it. Condition your naked feet with pre-running exercises, and start an interval running program before the 30-minute goal. And! Watch where you're going. There's debris everywhere--even on soft, sandy beaches.

9.) Know your trails!

The general rule is to walk a non-paved trail before running it. You'll know what to expect--unruly roots, rocks and other menaces.

As for mountain biking, take all the proper precautions--whether you're a novice or a pro--tire inflation, bike helmet, plenty of water, a snack, first aid kits, etc.. Take it easy on new trails and pay attention to the level of difficulty on a trail.

10.) Wear a lifejacket!

For weekend water sports and leisure recreation, always be cautious.

11.) Know your limits!

It's easy to get excited about a new recreation that involves fitness, adventure and fun, but don't get buck wild. We're not invincible and freak accidents happen. Take all the proper precautions and rest when you feel tired and weak.

FITNESS TIP!!! No pain, no gain? Actual physical pain in one area of your body is a bad sign. You need to slow down or stop. The pain that they're talking about here is the pain of doing something that doesn't come easy. Get physically fit can be "painful," but it really shouldn't hurt!

12.) Don't stop fitness training!

Sure--you're more active in the summer! But I urge you to keep a fitness routine. Keeping your body flexible, strong and conditioned helps prevent injury. And, once fall comes, you won't have to jump back on the wagon. You're already on. Fitness is a lifestyle, not a season.


Despite the cool new moves in the most current body building books and magazines, there are some things that don't change. I'll let you in on the basics of bodybuilding, month by month. If you want to transform your body into a calorie-burning, sculpted machine, pay attention.

This month's spotlight? THE BACK!

Women are all about leg and abdominal work and men are all about arms and chest, but the back contains all the muscles that connect and basically carry all the other muscles. Don't neglect the back! It can help you climb trees if you'd like or more practically, it will help your posture!

The 3 basic movements for the back muscles--working the trapezius, latissimus, teres and rhomboid muscles: Assisted or Unassisted Chin-Ups with Wide Overhand Grip, Lat Pull-Down, One-Armed Dumbbell Rows


I urge you to take advantage of the summer season and get more active. Take more walks, bike rides and swims--for fun! (And you probably don't have to go far.)

Eat more fruits and vegetables and stay away from the fried, the mayo-d and the whipped creamed. Summer garden & orchard foods are delicious and guilt-free. Be wary of the potluck temptations and barbecues. Choose naked foods and enjoy simple meals. You'll feel less heavy and less hot.

I hear it frequently. I lose weight in summer without even trying! Let summer do it's natural magic for you too.


Fruit is perfect by itself by sometimes it's fun to dress them up!
Here are some lighter ideas...

Create a honey and lime sauce for melons! Simply toss chunks of honeydew and cantaloupe with fresh lime juice and a tablespoon or two of honey.

Choose grapes, plums or peaches to be topped with a light and luscious ginger cream. Cut up the fruit of choice and lightly dab on a spoonful of light sour cream and chipped crystallized ginger.

Grill those fruits. Consider fruit shish kabobs. Place on skewers and turn gradually so the fruits are cooked and the natural sugar carmelizes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fast Fitness-Related Weight-loss Tips

Boualem's Fit 'N Healthy Times, May Newsletter

Many weight-loss exercisers keep a predictable workout program, light to moderate cardio for extended periods with a strength training regimen once or twice a week, light weights, many repetitions, as for muscular endurance.

Is there anything wrong with this?

Not at all. For the sedentary beginner, it’s a great start. However, if you want faster results--body transforming results, it’s time to challenge your body. Don't be afraid of the "sugar-burning" zone!

Here are a few fat-burning challenges:

1.) For runners: change the focus from endurance or distance to speed and time. Throw in a few sprints. It's a great workout for your abs and lungs!

2.) For cardio machine addicts: be realistic about the intensity of your workout.

Did you know that a moderate level on a stationary bike is when you’re at about 150 watts? For stationary rowing, 150 watts is a vigorous intensity. Brisk walking is 4.0 mph.

If you can easily converse with the next person on the elliptical or if you're breezily breezing through a favorite magazine, it's time to bring the focus back to where it should be--exercise!

3.) For bodybuilders: if you’re stuck with the same routine and the same weight, it’s time for change--even if ever so slight. Sometimes it’s simply switching hand positions or barbells to dumbbells. For others, it may be time to recruit a safe spotter. Sometimes you have to really push for change.

4.) For weight loss strength training… Yes, the prescribed repetitions for weight loss is light and long. But, I swear that faster results come with heavier, shorter repetitions. Just try 10 heavier repetitions for 6 weeks. Give your body a change. Despite the commonly held belief amongst women, nobody turns into a bodybuilder that easily!

5.) For real fat trimming tricks: do a variety of cardiovascular challenges. Don’t stick with one thing unless you’re training for a particular sport. Mix it up. It keeps your body constantly responding.

6.) For walkers, you can get a better result from walking by paying attention to every step. Suck the gut in and keep the stomach muscles engaged--this doesn't just help work the abdominal muscles but will help keep your posture. Also, chest out; shoulders back--feel the bottom squeeze with each heel strike. Save strolling for dates.

7.) For anyone with only one cardio option--like a cardio machine. You can still change it up. If you use a cardio machine, they have a variety of programs and levels. Use them. If you're walking around the dining room table, throw in some interval plyometrics work.

8.) Video and TV exerciser? Don't stick with one dvd for 12 months straight. Instead, try sampling another workout dvd every 4 weeks, preferably increasing the intensity and moving from beginner to intermediate or to intermediate to advanced.

Change isn't easy. But good changes make good results!


Despite the cool new moves in the most current body building books and magazines, there are some things that don't change. I'll let you in on the basics of bodybuilding, month by month. If you want to transform your body into a calorie-burning, sculpted machine, pay attention.

This month's spotlight? THE BICEPS!

(Why? Because I often prescribe chest and biceps exercises on the same day. Most chest exercises also work the triceps, the opposing muscle group of the biceps.)

The 3 basic movements for strong biceps are these: Alternating Bicep Curls, Barbell Curls and Hammer Curls

TIPS FOR BICEP CURLS: Remember to raise the elbow at the point your biceps are contracted. This engages the front shoulder muscles.

TIPS FOR BARBELL CURLS: If you have wrist problems and have the option of using an ezbar instead of a straight barbell, do so. (It's a bar with four "bumps" in between the weighted ends.) Also, wide grip and narrow grip variation works different parts of the muscles.

Fat & Weight-loss Truths

Fat is an essential nutrient. It cannot be taken out of the diet. In fact, our diet, according to the Institute of Medicine, should consist of 20-35% of fat. The problem is that most of us exceed the recommended amount.

If you're trying to lose weight or cut body fat, shoot for no more than 20% of your calories to be from healthy fats.

What is healthy fat? Unsaturated fat that has not been hydrogenated, often from plant sources, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Canola, flax seed and olive oil are our favorites, along with oils from fish and nuts.

How do you calculate 20%?

A.) You have to have an approximate idea of how many calories you need. (Try for a daily needs caloric calculator.)

B.) Once you have an approximate number, let's say it is 1800 calories a day. Multiply 1800 (or whatever your number is) by .2. Our example result is 360 calories.

C.) For some, counting grams is easier than calories. If so... Divide the number of fat calories by the amount of calories in just one gram--9. (Example: 360 divided by 9 = 40 grams)


Spicy Mustard Slaw

Mayo-free cabbage salad is refreshingly tangy and a little bit spicy. Great source for vitamins C and A and high in fiber. Low in saturated fat--no cholesterol!

1 head of cabbage
1 medium cucumber
1/2 lb Carrots
1/2 c white vinegar
2 T canola oil
1/4 t. pepper
2 T. mustard
2 T. sugar
1/4 t. hot cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt

1.) Clean produce and run through a food processor. Place in large bowl.

2.) In a small bowl mix vinegar, oil, spices, sugar and mustard.

3.) Whisk briskly and pour over vegetables.

4.) Mix again to disperse dressing evenly. Serve or refrigerate.

Note: Flavor is best when the slaw has a chance to marinate in the dressing!

SERVING SIZE: 4.2 ounces

Nutrition data: 66 calories per serving, calories from fat, 27
Total fat: 3 g, saturated fat: 0.2 g
Sodium: 37 mg
Total carbohydrates: 9.1 g, dietary fiber 2.4 g, sugars 5.5 g
Protein: 1.6 g
Vitamin A 65%
Vitamin C 40%
Calcium 4%
Iron 3%

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Cleaning Snack Habits NEW! Body Building Basics

Boualem's Fit 'N Healthy Times, April 2010

Believe it or not, just shaping up your snack habits can make big improvements in your health and fitness goals.

Do you have "bad" snack attacks?

If you do, let's dig. The solution is often in the problem.

5 Reasons You're Binge Snacking...

1.) Over Hungry - You haven't eaten since lunch. You eat the first thing you can grab--which is always convenience food. Then, you can't stop, because the body really does think it's starving. Of course, when you do stop, you've overeaten and feel rotten. It often becomes a cycle...

Solution: Try to track your snacking times. You should be able to see a pattern for how long it takes to get to the super-starved mode. Prepare a snack ahead of time--and eat it 30-60 minutes before you're too hungry.

2.) Compensating - (A) Physical: Maybe you're really quite sleep-deprived. Your body may think, okay, I'll get a kick of energy from a sugar-sweet--you're not even thinking this, it just comes naturally. Or (B) Psychological: You don't have any time for yourself, so your snack binge is the only alone time you get. You make it last as long as you can. So you eat, eat and eat some more.

Solution (A): Make sure you're doing all you can to re-energize you body without excess calories. Keep yourself hydrated, get plenty of sleep, spend 15 minutes outside, do something to get your blood flowing--walk, stretch or even spend 3 minutes listening to a make-you-want-to-move song. (I like Will Smith's Nod Ya Head.)

Solution (B): Keep a snack diary. Discover why you're eating--feel heartbroken, lacking purpose, no you-time. Either fix the situation (if possible), or find another coping method. There are healthier ways to deal--going for a walk, a "grateful list", jogging, journalling, etc..

3.) Addictive Foods - You've been eating refined, processed foods all day long and your energy dips. You need more refined sugar snacks. OR you think you can seriously eat only 2 cookies and a glass of fat-free milk. But before you know it, you've consumed the whole box. Sugar is addictive, and for some salt and texture is addictive, too.

Solution: Healthier meals can produce healthier snacks. Eat "whole foods." Secondly, know your addictions. If you always eat more chips or cookies than you'd like--stop buying them every week. (And don't use the excuse that your kids eat them. They need healthier snack habits, too!) Go ahead an enjoy one small snack bag on occasion, but buying chips in bulk--if it's your addiction, is like buying a barrel of beer for a recovering alcoholic.

4.) Mindless Eating
- This is when you pair a snack break with something like watching a favorite recorded television show. After the show, you realize you ate the whole bag of chips--even though you don't remember eating half of them.

Solution: Break habits. Eat a snack at the table, and then brush your teeth. Now, you can watch tv, but even better, do something that will keep your hands and mind busy. Make a phone call; send an e-mail... whatever it is you'd enjoy and forget about your salivating sweet tooth.

5.) Procrastination Tactic - maybe you're bored or overwhelmed, so you eat b/c you feel like you're doing something, or maybe you make a snack last for an hour, cause you're really not looking forward to the next task--homework, cleaning, or an important decision. Eating is something you can say, hey, I am doing something. But in reality, you're only putting off something that will stress you in the future.

Solution: A lot of times, boredom is out of apathy. We've lost interest in everything. Get outside or do something active. Studies show that there is a natural high with exercise and that 15 minutes of outdoor time a day decreases depression. There are better things for your body than extra calories. And for true procrastination, remember some of Covey's suggestions: if you have a lengthy to-do list, do what you want to do least, first! Then it won't hang over you like a dark gray cloud. And face the problem(s); don't hide behind food. It will only make things worse!


Sugar is not your friend, but... will a little hurt?

Here's the lowdown from a great source, Nutrition Action Healthletter,January/February 2010:

Maximum Sugar Allowance for Better Health
For women: 100 calories or 6 1/2 teaspoons (or 25 grams)
For men: 150 calories or 9 1/2 teaspoons (or 38 grams)
*This is only for added sugars; natural sugars in fruit and milk do not have to be counted. And this also allows for one cup of 100% fruit juice.

If you haven't yet, go to my It will help you determine how many "discretionary" calories you have--if you eat healthfully.


Despite the cool new moves in the most current body building books and magazines, there are some things that don't change. I'll let you in on the basics of bodybuilding, month by month. If you want to transform your body into a calorie-burning, sculpted machine, pay attention.

This month's spotlight? The chest! Pectoralis major...

The 3 basics to hit every part of the chest are these 3 moves:
The Incline Press
The Flat Bench Press
The Decline Press

Ladies, these moves will improve the muscle tone underneath the breasts only. There is no miracle "boob" lifter... But it will improve the way you look, your posture and the power of your push (and hugs)!

Men, the bench press for some reason becomes the focus of many routines. Remember, body building refers to the entire-body, not just the chest.

FEATURED RECIPE: Savory Quinoa Side

A great, whole-fibered food to accompany a favorite fish, meat or tofu--for vegetarians. Perfect solution for a pasta, rice or potato rut!

Nutrition Grade A-
96% confidence

Good points
# Low in saturated fat
# No cholesterol
# Low in sugar
# High in manganese
# High in magnesium

1 T olive oil
1 c uncooked quinoa
2 c low-sodium chicken broth
2 t minced garlic
2 T parsley
1/2 T thyme
1/4 t sea salt
1 onion, small, finely chopped
1 dash of lemon juice

1. Soak the quinoa in sufficient water for 15-30 minutes--can be rushed if soaked in HOT water, which reduces to 5 minute.

2. Drain and rinse. Use your hand to stir it around while rinsing.

3. Place quinoa in cooking pot with chicken broth and salt.

4. Heat and cover until boiling.

5. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, with lid.

6. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes, lid still on.

7. Fluff gently the quinoa and place in serving bowl.

8. Add garlic, olive oil, parsley, thyme, onions and lemon juice.

9. Mix gently and stir while warm or at room temperature.

Serving Size 197.5g, Serves 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 208, Calories from Fat 55
Total Fat 6.1g
Saturated Fat 0.8g
Sodium 157mg
Total Carbohydrates 31.2g
Dietary Fiber 3.7g
Sugars 1.2g
Protein 7.5g
Vitamin A 4%
Vitamin C 9%
Calcium 4%
Iron 16%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet. Nutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation

Email me today for a free initial consultation. You can also call (231) 773-8926 to schedule an appointment. I come to you!

Choose to stay fit and healthy!

Copyright © 2010 Personal Trainer 4 You, Inc.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Do you know what you want?

Boualem's Fit 'N Healthy Times, March 2010

The Goal Killers

With any kind of goal, it is important to be very specific and focused on what you want--or you might end up chasing a goal you hadn't thought of!

The biggest problem with fitness and body-makeover plans are not necessarily the plans themselves. The plans are fine. But plans are plans. They're not magic.

It's like being told that if you listen to foreign language tapes while you sleep, you'll pick up the language automatically. It doesn't happen!!!

Plans require dedication. Plans require action.

So, if you have a good plan. Why aren't you implementing it?

There are four reasons--or a combination of four--why people won't follow through with a plan.

1. Distracted!

Take for example, the ectomorph^ who wants to build a more muscular, shapely body. So she cuts down her cardio for two weeks. Week 3 and she decides to try the new 90-minute dance class--falls in love with it. Week 4 and her friend challenges her to run a 5k. 8 weeks later and she's actually lost muscle mass.

2. An underlying fear!

Another ectomorph wants to have arms like Jillian Michaels. Her trainers tell her to eat more to gain more. But as soon as she sees the scale move up, she cuts back her food. Her problem? She's really afraid of gaining weight--even healthy weight.

3. Refusing to change!

An endomorphic* musclebuilder--whose mission is to "shred"--doesn't shred. Why? He refuses to run, bike--or do anything except weight train. He'll take tons of supplements but avoids the one thing that will complete his mission.

4. Unconvinced!

The man who starts an exercise program to lose weight stops shortly after 3 weeks. He decides he can lose weight without the fitness aspect. He's active enough on the weekends with household chores. He just really doesn't think a fitness program is that important, and even though he has a goal, it just doesn't fit with his priorities.

Has your action plan been sitting on the side gathering dust?

Ask yourself: Is there something you're afraid of? Can you get over it? Do you really want what you say you want, r oare your priorities set in concrete? And, can you change your mind or your attitude?

If you're honest with yourself, you might find that it doesn't really make sense to work for Jillian Michael arms. That's alright. It's okay to kill a goal. Just don't give up on feeling your best. You can still strive to be fit and healthy. You can find a routine that transforms your body to YOUR unique shape.

Personal training is a lot like being a spark plug in the car engine. I don't do the work--you do. But I can get you fired up. Then, it's all up to you. Can I help you?

Contact me: (231) 773-8926 /

Body Types & How It Affect the Workout

I mentioned two body types: ectomorph and endomorph. Do you know what these are?

A. An ectomorph is someone who struggles to put on weight. They're genetically thin and often don't need to do cardio for weight maintenance. (Although cardiovascular health is important for all body types.) And they do have problems with putting on muscles... Heavy weights and increased food consumption will help those wanting to form a shapely, less-twiggy body.

B. An endomorph is the opposite of an ectomorph. They gain weight easily and can be very strong. But it's hard for the ectomorph to lose weight. In addition to a resistance program, a careful nutrition plan and a consistent cardiovascular program is essential for slimming (or shredding).

C. A mesomorph is the third type, the most envied body type. Just a little bit of effort goes a long way. Their body builds muscle rather easily and can look quite athletic without hours and hours of dedication.

Of course, not everyone falls into one of these categories. A lot of us are mixes. Some could be considered meso-endo, ecto-meso, et cetera. (Which makes fitness a little less clear-cut than the above prescriptions!)

Consider your body type before making a realistic goal. Don't try for the Kate Moss look if you're an endomorph. It will be a frustrating--not to mention, unhealthy--task. Accept the body you're given; each body type has its perks.

Your Body Needs Something

Yes, sometimes our bodies lack something and so we eat or crave a food to fill the void. For example, we crave meat when we're low in iron, sometimes. Or, we crave carbohydrates when serotonin* levels dip.

But often, are we really filling the void? Are you grabbing coffee or sugar instead of the nutrient you need? And is it really a nutrient that is missing?

Ask yourself before you eat something out of "need"--are you really hungry or do you need something other than food? Maybe you're overtired--what you really need is a nap! Maybe you're dehydrated. Drink a tall glass of water.

*serotonins - a mood-enhancing neurotransmitter regulating appetite, digestion and many other things

Eggless Salmon Patties

Quick, easy-to-make, omega-rich salmon patties are a hit with kids and adults. No mayonnaise and no eggs. Play with the amount of pepper for extra heat, and consider topping with diced tomatoes, yogurt or salsa.

•Low in sodium
•Very low in sugar
•High in niacin
•Very high in selenium
•High in vitamin B6
•High in vitamin B12

14 3/4 oz pink salmon, shredded
1/2 c old-fashioned oatmeal
1/3 onions, diced
6 tbsp milled flax seed
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp milled flax seed
6 tbsp cold water

1.Prepare salmon if using fresh. Or use canned salmon.
2.Break salmon in pieces with a fork.
3.Dice the onion and throw in with the salmon.
4.Add the oatmeal, the 6 tbsp of milled flax seed (oil replacement), and spices.
5.In a separate, small bowl, add 6 tbsp of cold water to 2 tbsp of milled flax seed. Let sit for 2 minutes. (This is the egg replacement.)
6.Form into 8 patties and place on grill or skillet. (We use the George Foreman grill for fasting cooking time.)
7.Let cook for until golden brown on top and bottom.

Serving size: 79.7 g
Calories 159 (Calories from Fat 84)
Total Fat: 9.3g, Saturated Fat 1.4g
Cholesterol: 33mg
Sodium: 33mg
Total Carbohydrates: 6.0g
Dietary Fiber 2.6g
Protein 13.8g

Email me today for a free initial consultation. You can also call (231) 773-8926 to schedule an appointment. I come to you!

Choose to stay fit and healthy!

Copyright © 2010 Personal Trainer 4 You, Inc.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Slamming that Curve Ball

2010, 2nd Edition, Boualem's Fit 'N Healthy Times

What happens when for four weeks you've diligently made exercise a priority and then, life throws some curve ball?
Maybe you get sick and then have a two week workload to catch up on in just five measly business days. So, one week turns into two weeks, and during those two weeks you feast on high-calorie convenience foods.

Two weeks without doing anything and two weeks of undoing every progress made in four weeks! Youch.

Well, you know what you shouldn't do, right?

That's right. Don't throw up the white flag of surrender.

Sure, it seems like you moved forward and then backward. Sure, it stinks. But that's life.

It's two weeks, not a year, and if it were a bad whole year, still! It's never too late to start over. Never, never give up.

I hate to break this to you, but we all face challenges. It's inevitable. Life will get in the way of our biggest goals. Remember what Stephen Covey says... There are three constants in life: change, choice and principle.

You have the choice after a short and long-term hiatus. You can get back on the wagon and feel good about striving for healthier living, or you can give up. Maybe that's why I don't like New Year's resolutions--we should be making resolutions every day, not just once year.

Just remember this, when you've fallen backwards: living with inaction is not the easy way out.

While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions. Again, Stephen Covey...

It's better to something than nothing. Always look forward and stop comparing yourself to you-in-the-past. YOU is now.

Of course, one of the best ways to stay on top of fitness goals is to hire a trainer.

Contact me and let's discuss your weight loss or fitness goals. I'll be your cheerleader and coach. It's what personal fitness trainer do.

Choose action. Call me today: (231) 773-8926!


I've always been an advocate for weight resistance work. It increases strength, builds (or retains) muscle--which certainly helps with metabolism, and it strengthens the skeletal system. But now there's proof that strength training is beneficial for the brain, too.

According to a British Columbian study, older women who lifted weights or used weight machines improved their cognitive function 10.9 to 12.6% in 12 months. The comparison group involved similarly aged women, ages 65 to 75. They exercised too, but only concentrated on toning and balance-type exercise. Their results actually showed a slight decline.



Most experts recommend 50-60% of your daily nutrients be from carbohydrates.* But just like meal timing, carb-timing can make a big difference.

Choose morning and early afternoon meals rich in complex carbohydrates--like whole-grains breads and cereals and other starchy carbohydrates--most fruits and vegetables like carrots, potatoes, corn and dried beans.

Then, for the late afternoon and evening, fill your plates with leafy salad vegetables and other less-starchy carbohydrates: broccoli, cauliflower, bean sprouts, asparagus...

*Some short-term diets may consist of a lower percentage... This is just a general guideline. 60% is usually recommended for those who choose to be vegetarian or vegan.

(Remember: Feel less hungry between snacks and meals by pairing carbs with fat and protein. Don't sabotage yourself.)


Get your veggies and protein in this fiber-filled, low-carb dish. Quick to prepare and perfect for a light evening meal or a brunch side dish, it's also very high in vitamin A and high in calcium, phosphorous, riboflavin, selenium and vitamin C. The only down-side is if you're watching your cholesterol. If so, use the egg white option. And if you're watching sodium intake, eggs have enough sodium, ditch the salt.

Easy Veggie and Protein Egg Bake

5 whole eggs (or 9-11 egg whites)
2 c skim milk
2 scoops (60 g) unflavored, whey protein isolate (90%)*
2 c milled flax seed
1/8 t salt
2 garlic cloves, pressed
pepper (to taste)
9 oz frozen spinach
14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes
10 oz frozen corn
2 oz mozzarella cheese, low-fat (sliced thin or shredded)

1.) Preheat oven to 400 F.
2.) Thaw frozen vegetables.
3.) Beat eggs into milk, whey protein and flax mixture.
4.) Add salt, garlic and pepper.
5.) Pour in greased 9 x 11 casserole dish.
6.) Squeeze excess moisture out of spinash.
7.) Layer the vegetables in the egg mixture.
8.) Cook approximately 35 minutes or until center becomes solid and edges golden.
9.) Top with cheese while still hot.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Analysis:
1 serving (230 g): 190 calories, 7.8 g fat, 2.1 saturated fat, 134g cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 16.7 g total carbohydrates, 4.3 g of fiber, 6.8 g sugar, 16.7 g protein.

*Protein powder is optional...

Email me today for a free initial consultation. You can also call (231) 773-8926 to schedule an appointment. I come to you!

Choose to stay fit and healthy!

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