In today’s fast paced society, kids are getting the short end of the stick nutritionally.  They are overbooked with extracurricular activities that keep them from their families.  When they are home they are often found watching television or playing video games.  I rarely see kids playing outside in my subdivision.  Homemade family dinners are replaced with processed, convenience foods that can be thrown in the microwave.  All of this convenience comes with a price – obesity and a diabetes epidemic in our nation.

Children should be eating less preservative and chemical laden foods and eating more “whole foods”.  Instead of processed foods, give them a diet rich in vitamins and minerals from whole grains, fresh vegetables, fruits, lean protiens and healthy fats. 

Stop buying sugar laden cereals and opt for whole grain options.  Be careful by reading the labels.  Many cereals have put the label “Whole Grain” on them but they still contain way too much sugar.  Kids will have a blood sugar crash an hour after eating it and their school performance will be affected.  Make them whole grain pancakes or muffins for breakfast.  Use allrecipes.com to find new recipes your family will love. Pancakes and muffins can be made in large amounts and frozen in individual portions to be reheated quickly in the toaster or microwave in the morning.

Other changes you can make is to replace beef and pork with chicken and fish.  Switch to skim milk.  Make vegetables and a whole grain the center of dinner with meat as a side dish.  Cut up a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit for kids to snack on.  They love them with dips such as plain yogurt mixed with different herbs and spices.  Try to stay away from creamy dressings.  They are usually filled with so much fat and sugar. 

Introduce whole wheat bagels, pretzels, pastas, brown rice, yogurt, celery with peanut butter, baked tortilla chips and many other healthier snack options. 

The biggest way to help your kids eat healthier is to eliminate junk foods from the house.  If ice cream and cookies are in the house, they will eat them.  Your home should be a safe zone for them and for you.  They should be treats that are eaten at church potlucks, dinners out or with friends. 

Learn how to read food labels and then teach it to your kids.  It will be something they will appreciate for the rest of their lives.  Get them involved and make it fun. 

Most of all, remember they are watching you.  You are your child’s role model.  They are always listening to what you say also.  Set the example for the lifestyle you would like them to follow.



I spent the weekend traveling with a Saturday stop at my grandmother’s house and the following day at a tumbling meet for my oldest daughter. 

It’s easy to allow these little excursions to derail your fat loss efforts but they don’t have to. 

No one in my family can resist grandma’s homemade noodles and pies.  So, what do we do?  We enjoy them.  There is no need to stress when you’re visiting family as long as you make most of your choices smart. 

I had a good helping of vegetables and roast pork then shared some pie with my toddler.  She was only interested in the whipped cream anyways. 

The hardest part of the weekend was eating at the tumbling meet.  I have never understood why they serve such horrible food at sporting events.  It’s atrocious! 

Pretzels and canned cheese sauce

Tortilla chips and canned cheese sauce

Microwave butter popcorn

All sorts of candy and pop

I was able to bring my own snacks so this is what I did for this meet.  I ate a good breakfast of eggs and vegetables.  I brought a cooler filled with water bottles, an apple and some almonds.  After the meet we went to a sit down restaurant where I could order some healthy food. 

It’s not difficult to stay on track when you’re away from home, but it does take some planning.  Always be prepared.

Here is the best exercise for firming up your most stubborn area – your butt.  This exercise is superior because it not only firms but also burns body fat.  A wonderful bonus!

I tend to get asked a lot by friends and strangers alike what I do for my personal workouts.  I love sharing information with everyone, but I have also learned that most people will never take action on the advice I give them.  A prime example of this occurred yesterday in between church services. 

While in the ladies restroom, I was approached and asked how long my workouts typically take and how often do I exercise.  Well, my workouts will range from 30-45 minutes and I exercise 5-6 days a week.  I then asked her what her routine was like.  She proceeded to give me a number of excuses as to why she had stopped working out recently but she was ready to get started again.  She usually just jumps on an elliptical trainer for an hour, 3 times a week at the local high school gym on her way home from work. She also told me that she used to use the machines but then developed tennis elbow and had to stop.

She could have developed her tennis elbow from using the machines since I don’t think you can get it filing papers and answering phones every day, but I could be wrong.  I am not a doctor by trade.  She seemed to be surprised to hear that the machines could have caused her injury and I’m quite sure she didn’t believe what I had to say after that due to the look on her face.   Here’s what I told her:

Machines are useful in certain situations.  Maybe you need to work on one muscle to strengthen it after an injury, you’re only interested in asthetics rather than function or you are too lazy to do some real physique changing exercise.  Machines only work one muscle a a time.  Doing these same movements every day with weight can cause the same overuse injuries you find in cashiers or tennis players.  Most machines are designed for one body type and although they are adjustable, they are rarely a good fit.  Most people really have no idea how to adjust them correctly and are afraid to ask gym staff how to use the equipment properly.  Also, all machine exercises are done sitting or lying down.  Not good for burning fat.

I like to train muscle movements.  Most movements in life do not occur from a seated position as all exercises are performed when using machines.  We are usually on our feet when we lift something off the ground.  We are standing when we lift something over our heads to put it away.  We use a large number of muscles and more than one muscle group when we do a variety of things throughout the day. 

Functional exercises will better enable you to squat without back pain, grab things out of a higher cabinet without hurting your shoulders and take groceries out of the trunk of the car without throwing your back out.  All important movements for day to day function.

Another benefit to using functional movements when training rather than isolation machines is the higher caloric burn you get while exercising this way.

Your workouts become more effective and more time efficient which means less time spent at the gym.  Most people are busy and when using isolation machines you will spend more time in the gym trying to hit every individual muscle instead of hitting all of them in as little as 6 exercises. 

So, although helpful in some cases, exercise machines are not always best for getting fit and lean fast.  For a free workout using only the best fat burning exercises fill out the form located at the top right side of this blog.

http://www.InspirationFitnessCamp.com presents the Gasser Fat Loss Circuit performed by Winfield Indiana’s women only boot camp.  This is a great workout you can do at home using a dumbbell and a stair step.  For the running portion you can substitute running in place for 1 minute.  You can get your children involved by letting them use smaller weights.  I suggest using a 15 lb. dumbbell as seen in the video.  Rest as needed at the end of the circuit.  Complete as many rounds as you can in 20 minutes.  Enjoy!

Partner Workouts are great for fat loss.  My boot camp ladies had some fun today with our 20 minute shuttle run circuit.  Each team tried to do as many rounds as they could.  It was a lot of fun.  Not much talking during this workout.  It’s a tough workout.  Give it a try.

David Whitley of www.IronTamer.com performs a turkish get up using my RKC partner, Aileen.  Crazy stuff!