Why not? A slogan for an interesting life

Have you ever been presented with an opportunity and thought, “Wow! I would LOVE to do that!” Then your next thought was, “That’s silly. I don’t have time.  I would make a fool of myself anyway.”

Think for a minute about that thing that you really want to do.

Maybe….There is a girl you really want to ask out for dinner.

There is a martial arts or cross fit class you heard your co-workers talking about that you would really like to try.

You occasionally feel a strong desire to go back to college to finish your Master’s degree.

From time to time you get an impulse to jump in the car and drive to the beach.

It’s so easy to talk ourselves out of great and fun experiences by anticipating the worst.  The logical left-brain side of us can make such compelling arguments that our curiosity gets crushed.

To some extent our western culture has conditioned us to be this way.  Our intuitive nature is dismissed so easily  by the value that is placed on rationality.  By ignoring our creative and intuitive nature we stand the risk of missing out on the depth and width in life.  However, relying on both, logic and intuition, will move us more deeply into the world and toward balance.

Part of my work as a personal trainer involves getting my clients to move out of their heads and into their body’s.  When I ask a new client how the weight feels or to squeeze the muscle, the response is usually a confused look with a, “huh?”  Most of their day is spent at work, in their heads where they are making logical decisions, so focusing on being in the body can take some coaching.

Here is an idea, let your workouts not only get you into better physical shape, but also be a time to practice being in tune with how your body and soul is feeling.  This is how great athletes learn to get into the zone or be in the sweet spot.

A simple way to apply this is during your warm up.  Begin to pay attention to what is going on inside of you.  Feel the areas of tightness, the stress & tension & relax.  Focus of your breathing and be in the moment.

In our modern society we are so used to living in a state of stress that it’s difficult for us to relax.  Allowing yourself to relax mentally & physically will help you move out of your head and drop down into your body & heart.  This is difficult for me too, but I find that exercising & then lying down and focusing on my breathing helps.  Also, listening to guided meditation or a yoga channel on Pandora helps me to quiet my mind.

There will always be more rational reasons not to try something. What if for once you ignore the handful of reason’s not to do something and focus on the one that is screaming yes?! 

Talk about living large…this is where the juice of life is at!  You don’t have to own a pent house or drive a Mercedes.  Just answer the call inside of your heart and go do the freaking thing all ready!!!

Why not? It is a slogan for an interesting life. Mason Cooley


Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes: with a little something something


These decadent cupcakes will light you up with their flavor and health benefits!   The ingredients in this recipe might surprise you, but give it a try and your taste buds will thank you:)   I used whole wheat flour in the recipe but it’s not detectable, & you might even like the texture it gives to the cupcake.  The avocado adds a nice moistness, & the coffee and cayenne creates such an interesting yumminess.  It’s like a partay in the mouth!

Another interesting ingredient in the recipe is cayenne pepper.  There are amazing health benefits found in cayenne, one of those being that it helps you lose weight!  Woo hoo!!!  Eat your cupcake and lose weight too?!  The heat you feel after eating cayenne takes energy & calories to produce.  They have been found to contain substances that significantly increase thermogenesis (heat production) and oxygen consumption for more than 20 minutes after they are eaten.   You can adjust the cayenne pepper based on your preference.  My fiancé wasn’t too keen on the 1/2 tsp., so I made him a batch with a wee less than a 1/2 tsp. and he liked that much better.  I, on the other hand, want the full cayenne experience:)

The cupcakes freeze well, & can be perfect snacks for your kids or if you need a little something sweet in your day.

coffee and avocado


1/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

1/3 cup of  Splenda Brown Sugar (or 2/3 cup brown sugar)  *these might taste great with honey?

1 egg

3 TBS mashed avocado

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup brewed coffee

1/3 or 1/2 cup chocolate chips


  1. Place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Mix wet ingredients in a mixer.
  3. Slowly add the coffee and mix for 2 min.
  4. Bake for 20-25 min. at 350 degrees.

How To Get Out Of A Rut

You can’t look back & go forward.  There is a reason why the rear view mirror is so small and the windshield is so big.  It’s because the road ahead of us is so much more important than the road behind us.

What is behind you is less important than what is in front of you.

Far too many of us dwell on our past & get stuck in a rut.  It happens in every walk of life from fitness to career & relationships.   I’ve had clients reminisce about their glory days as athletes or how thin they were years ago, & now they are overweight and overwhelmed.  Instead of the past inspiring change, it holds them back because they are not looking forward at a new vision for their lives.  The same thing can be said for when you go through a career change or divorce. There is an open road before you.  The ending of that relationship or job was awful, but there is a new beginning waiting.  It’s important to get control of your thoughts because what you focus on expands.

The potential damage of reflecting on the past is that it can harm your future.  It’s so easy to get trapped in the “should have’s” and “if only I’d done (you fill in the blank) _____.”   This only makes you feel overwhelmed and discouraged.

You are not your past.  Today is what matters & the future in front of you.   Even the great things that happened, that was yesterday.

Stop talking about how you can’t lose weight, how your ex-husband or ex-wife hurt you, how you wish you made different choices.  There is nothing you can do to change the past.  Reliving it is not going to take away your pain or make it easier.  Life is now!  Be about making this moment count.  Let the past serve as a wise guide and be open to the lessons, but not the beatings.

You have a decision to make.  You can choose to look back or look forward.  The Bible says in Philippians 3:13  “focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”  This means that you have a freewill choice to let go of the past.  Ask God to help you.  Focus your attention on the present and the decisions you can make today to positively affect your future.

windshieldMy backyard windshield view:)  That big red truck is all I can focus on, hope it doesn’t get pummeled!



4 Exercises For Sexy and Shapely Shoulders

The thighs, glutes, & abs get so much attention in our workouts, but the shoulders are just as important to a shapely physique.  Strong shoulders  improve your posture, prevent injury and increase confidence.

When you sport shapely round shoulders it will make any tank top, off the shoulder top, or hot little black dress look stunning! 

If you start now you have just enough time to get those shoulders summer ready!  Get started with doing these four moves consistently, two times per week & you will get results.


*Weight Selection is crucial.  Set a weight that is heavy enough to be a challenge.  You should have to fight for your last 2-3 reps while maintaining  good form.*

*Warm up with a light weight, 5-8lbs, and perform 8 reps of the following:  lateral raise, front raise, rear fly and shoulder press.*

  1. Barbell or Smith Machine Shoulder Press:  3×10-12 reps
  2. Lateral Raise:  3×12
  3. Barbell Upright row WIDE grip:  I want to hit the lateral head, that is why I like the wide grip.  3×10-12
  4. Bent Over Rear Fly:  3×10-12

*If you feel good and want a pump, grab some dumbbells and perform 2 sets of overhead presses for 20 reps.

I have to give props to my client for being my model this morning during her training session:)  She is a great sport.  Thank you!


Leaps of Faith: There are no “wrong” decisions

Sometimes you just have to take the leap, and build your wings on the way down.  Kobi Yamada


Indecision is an enemy to dreams.  While you are second guessing yourself & waiting around on all the answers, opportunities are being stolen right out from under you.  I have been accused of being a, “ready, fire, aim,” person.  That generally provides for a mess.  Sometimes I get lucky, but more often than not, it’s a fiasco.  I am learning to appreciate the wisdom in taking a calculated risk.

It is a balance of action and faith to realize your dreams.  Even with my impatient nature, I want the plan laid out with details, & unfortunately this rarely happens.  If you are going to realize your dreams then get ready to be uncomfortable.  The end result will make it all worthwhile.  When a Mama Eagle is teaching her eaglets to fly she will bring twigs & burrs into the cozy nest to make them uncomfortable.   She will even push her eaglets to the edge of the nest to get them to fly.   In the same way we have to get so dissatisfied with our present condition that we will take the leap of faith.

The pain of staying the same has to become greater than the pain of change.

I hear genuine heart touching stories from people who want to lose weight, but I can tell in 2-5 minutes if they are really going to move forward with their desire.  Most of the time they haven’t hit that “bottom of the pit” where they are serious about doing what it takes to achieve their goals.  It’s not that they don’t want it, but the pain of staying the same isn’t strong enough yet to prompt change.  This is true not only for weight loss but any addiction or habit we want to break.

We all have to go through our process to learn and grow, but the time comes when, on a wing and a prayer, you gotta take the leap.  Okay, so you might make a big splash and have to give it a go again…at least you can do it this time more intelligently:)  On the other hand, you might experience spontaneous brilliance and soar like the eagle.  Sometimes you have to follow through with a decision to realize that thing you thought you wanted, you don’t want.

Making any decision is better than no decision at all.  The important piece is to commit.  When you truly commit, then Providence moves too.


Low Carb Lunch, Italian Turkey Burger With Carrot Fries

Lifting weights and working out can leave you with a big appetite. Usually the low carb meals don’t satisfy that hunger.  Into the kitchen you go looking for something else to take the edge off.  You know the routine, you open the frig stare at it for a few minutes, shut the door and open the pantry and stare inside it for another minute or two;)

This meal with its’ mouthwatering spices will knock off that hunger and the bonus is you will have plenty of leftovers to freeze.  If you are craving a burger this savory patty will make a great sandwich between Ezekiel Bread.  The Italian Turkey Burger recipe is from fitness model, Jamie Eason.  I have coupled it with baked carrot fries on the side, and a big green salad would be a great addition to the meal.



Italian Turkey Burgers

Nutrition: Makes 8 (5 oz burgers)

144 calories

1 g fat

3.5 g carbs

27.6 g protein


2 packages of ground extra lean turkey breast

4 medium zucchini, grated

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp black pepper

* I usually omit the basil and oregano and use 2-3 tsp. of Italian seasoning.


Set broiler on high, arranging rack so that burgers will be about 2 inches from the heat.

In a large bowl, combine grated zucchini, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, dried basil, oregano, pepper and then turkey. Mix well (I get in there with my hands and mix) and scoop out 4 to 5 oz portions. Mixture will be really moist so for easier clean up, use a foil lined baking sheet, prepped with non-stick spray.

Place burgers in oven and broil for 7 minutes. Carefully flip each burger and continue to broil for another 7 minutes on the other side. Serve warm with your sides.

I found the Carrot Chip recipe online and it is wonderful!



Simple Answer For Your Weight Loss & Fitness Breakthrough

Many of you have a real desire to lose weight, get more fit and healthy and it gnaws at you because attaining it seems to escape your grasp.  Maybe you have taken proactive steps to achieve these goals and joined a gym, bought P90X, and/or started a diet but eventually you lost motivation.

As a personal trainer and gym rat, I want to help & see everyone succeed.  Motivation can get you going but a gameplan is needed to achieve success.  This is seen time and time again at the 1st of the year.  The “ready to be fit” flock in to the gym with fresh enthusiasm but fizzle out usually before February. Then their are the regulars who have a determined focus to kick their fitness up a notch, but in time they fall back into their same patterns. I gotta say, this really bothers me.  As a personal trainer and lifestyle coach, it should concern me, so I think a lot about this dilemma.


Over the years of counseling clients and listening to their stories of disappointment and struggle, these are the common barriers I’ve found that block people from attaining their fitness and life goals (myself included):
1.Feeling overwhelmed
4.Unrealistic goals
5.Overcomplicating the process

The answer recently dawned on me & it has the potential to set you free!  You simply make the next best decision. You might be saying, “What ? That’s it?”  Yep, it’s that easy!

How this simple truth can help you  overcome these barriers:
•You overindulged during the weekend, normally you would beat yourself up with guilt and negativity. Today what you do is, make the next best decision.
•You checked out a gym, saw all the machines and it overwhelmed you. Take a breath & make the next best decision.  Ask if the gym provides an orientation, or hire a personal trainer for a month that actually gives a care. You spend money on other things, your health and, yes, mental and emotional wellbeing is worth get coached to learn the lay of the land in the gym.
•You started a diet and 2 weeks into it you are starving or you ate something not on the plan. You are so driven to lose the weight by a certain time that you are overcomplicating and making the process harder than it needs to be.  Step back and make the next best decision.


Teddy Roosevelt, a man who as president sparred in the ring weekly.  Boxing and training forged in him an indomitable spirit.  This man was acquainted with adversity & the pain of loss, but he didn’t allow his unfortunate life events to keep him stuck.  He said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” 

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/theodorero403358.html#VuqIOwePSubuEQ8m.99
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/theodorero403358.html#VuqIOwePSubuEQ8m.99

Each minute & each moment is a fresh opportunity to move you closer to your goal. When you mess up, and you will, forgive yourself and make a better decision.  GET YOURSELF BACK UP, GET BACK IN THE RING & GET SWINGING!  Instead of the bad choices you made in the past crippling you even more in your present and future, gain the wisdom from it and do your best in this day.