Author Archives: Jean

Important Considerations For Exercise Newbies

Hey, even marathon runners had to start somewhere. And when they started, they were probably just like everyone else who was new to exercise: a little overwhelmed by all the information on fitness out there and wondering if they were able to actually stick to a fitness routine. But with a little tenacity, hard work, and guidance, anyone can successfully enter into the world of health and exercise.

If you are just beginning in fitness, here are some of the most important things to keep in mind.

Don鈥檛 Mind the Sore Muscles – Everyone who exercises with any degree of regularity will get sore muscles from time to time. In fact, some soreness can be a good sign, because it means that your muscles are working hard to recover. However, the soreness is the worst for people who are just starting out. Because your muscles just aren鈥檛 accustomed to that kind of physical activity, they are more susceptible to aching after a good workout. In fact, you might even have a difficult time doing simple physical activities, such as walking or lifting small objects. Don鈥檛 worry, the soreness goes away after time and doesn鈥檛 get as bad as you become more accounted to exercising on a regular basis.

Go Slow and Steady At First
– Some people who are exercising for the first time make the mistake of being too ambitious. While it鈥檚 good to progress through your fitness rapidly, trying to do too much too soon can actually be harmful for your body. Lifting more weight than what you are ready for or trying to sprint for too long wont lead to anything but muscle cramps and exhaustion. While you should of course be exerting some effort, you shouldn鈥檛 be straining yourself quite yet. Try to take it a little easy until your totally familiarize yourself with your workouts and how it feels to be physically active.

Try Lots of Different Exercises
– As you are just starting out exercising, it is important that you explore the many ways that you can work your body. Some people try one exercise type and just stick with that their entire life. While this is certainly better than no exercise at all, it is actually better for your fitness level if you have lots of different exercises in your repertoire. So one day you might try some light cardio, the next you might try your hand at weight training, and the next your might try your hand at pliometrics or stretching techniques. By exploring all the exercise has to offer, you teach yourself how to use your body in a very physical way and also what kind of exercises you prefer.

Get an Exercise Partner – It helps if you can find someone else who can exercise with you. By having someone else who can work alongside you have more motivation to work out at your scheduled times. If your partner has more experience exercising than you do, you also have an excellent way to learn about the proper techniques of exercises.

Fitness Expert Chris McCombs is a Los Angeles Personal Trainer. While walking out of a burrito joint Chris discovered a radical approach to burning fat at a rapid rate which he helps people all over do today. Chris is also a fitness business expert and helps personal trainers and other people in the fitness industry to triple their income and

The Benefit Of Weight Training

In this article, on the benefit of weight training, also known as strength training, we will discuss some reasons why you may want to add weight training to your regular health routine.

Let鈥檚 define our terms before we go any further. Weight training is usually done with free weights (dumbbells and barbells) or strength training machines. Strength training machines like those made by Bowflex, Nordic Track, HealthMax, and BodyCraft generally have a system of weights, pullies, straps and bars that mimic the effects of free weights.

These home gyms and others like them are becoming more popular as busy people want the convenience of being able to get a good work out at home where they can get on a machine or go to the fridge when they want to.

To get the most benefit of weight training it is important to follow some general principles. Proper form and breathing are important to the success of your weight training program. While exercising you should exhale while contracting the muscle (exerting energy) and inhale when releasing the muscle. Not breathing properly while lifting heavy weights can result in increases in blood pressure that may be harmful.

Form is also important to the overall success and safety of your work out. Good form means you are in control of the weight at all times, using smooth 鈥 not jerky 鈥 movements. Never let the force of gravity or the momentum of the weight take control. Knees and elbows should never be locked and the back should be kept straight.

The American College of Sports Medicine offers some specific guidelines for developing a training program to gain the most benefit of weight training. They state:

鈥淥ne set of 8-12 repetitions of eight to ten exercises that condition the major muscle groups at least 2 days a week is the recommended minimum.”

The proper way to do weight training is to use exercises which isolate each of the various muscle groups, starting with the large muscles and then working the small muscle groups. Gaining strength requires the muscle to be stimulated more than it鈥檚 accustomed to. This can be done by gradually increasing weight, resistance, or repetitions.

Some of the benefits of weight training include:

  • Increase stamina and overall performance
  • Stronger bones
  • Stronger muscles including the heart
  • Staying strong as you age
  • Maintaining or improving flexibility of joints
  • Restore balance and reduce incidence of falls
  • Improve quality of sleep
  • Improve psychological well being
  • Improved glucose control
  • Maintain healthy weight

As you can see the benefit of weight training is vast. The benefits mentioned in this article are just a few of the reasons to consider adding this form of activity to your regular health regimen. As with all exercise programs, check with a doctor and health professional before you get started to make sure you have a program that will work for you.

To your health and strength.

Discover the Benefit Of Aerobic Exercise

Other than the obvious physical benefit of aerobic exercise there are numerous other benefits. In this article, on aerobic exercise, we will discuss some reasons why you may want to add aerobic activity to your daily “to do” list.

First, let鈥檚 define what we mean when we use the term aerobic exercise. Aerobic means with air or oxygen. Further, the American College of Sports Medicine defines aerobic exercise as, “any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmic in nature.”

Some of the specific types of aerobic exercise, also known as cardio exercise; are walking, jogging, aerobic dancing, bicycling, swimming, rebounding, stair stepper machines, elliptical machines etc.

The benefit of aerobic exercise occurs because your lungs and heart are overloaded with an increase in the amount of oxygen that is transferred to your blood for dispersal to all your cells. Since oxygen itself is very healing, the increase in the oxygen load to the cells stimulates them to 鈥渃lean house鈥 so to speak. During aerobic activity the cells begin eliminating toxic waste material and rejuvenating themselves. Healthier cells mean a healthier body.

Naturally, a benefit of aerobic exercise is a stronger and more fit cardiovascular system. Your cardiovascular system is comprised of your heart, blood, and blood vessels. A healthy cardiovascular system efficiently transports oxygen (via the blood) to every organ and cell in the body and in turn removes waste products.

Some of the other benefits of aerobic exercise include:

  • Improved utilization of insulin and glucose tolerance
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Overall healthier cholesterol levels
  • Reduced body fat
  • Increased stamina and overall performance
  • Reduced risk of developing colon and breast cancer
  • Improved psychological well being
  • Decreased depression
  • Decreased anxiety

If you are planning on taking advantage of the health benefits of aerobic activity make sure you check with your doctor first. It is important that you have a plan that is right for you. However, to get the most benefit of aerobic exercise, the Cleveland Clinic recommends performing the activity for 30 to 60 minutes, three to five times per week and that you choose an activity you will enjoy! Don鈥檛 wait any longer; make a plan now to enjoy the benefits of improved health, through the benefit of aerobic exercise.

Fitness Articles To Help You Stay In Shape

Below you will find several fitness articles and information that will help you stay in shape and enhance your healthy eating habits.

Even though this web site is mainly about healthy dieting, one of the most important aspects of living a healthy lifestyle is exercise.

Exercise and diet go hand in hand. To supplement your diet it is important that you get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise 3 to 5 times a week.

Exercise is essential because it stimulates your body’s lymph system. Your lymph system cleans up cellular waste in your body and exercise is the only thing that keeps it moving and doing its work properly. It has no pump system. Exercise is the pump of the lymph system

Benefit of Aerobic Exercise
Other than the obvious physical benefit of aerobic exercise there are numerous other benefits.

Benefit Of Weight Training
To get the most benefit of weight training it is important to follow some general principles.

Considerations For Exercise Newbies
Great tips for beginners starting an exercise routine.

Easy Ways To Walk More
Practical advice on how to walk more for exercise.

Effective Resistance Training To Strengthen Your Arms
Lean how to get strong arms through resistance workouts.

Exercising Outdoors
Not all exercise takes place in the gym, try the great outdoors while keeping these things in mind.

Exercises Every Weight Trainer Should Know
Weight training isn’t only for muscleheads.

Fitness Training
Fitness is necessary to achieve the broad goal of improved health and general well-being.

Health Benefit of Exercise
The health benefit of exercise is well documented. People who routinely exercise feel better all over 鈥 mind and body.

Health Fitness Tip
Here鈥檚 a great health fitness tip to keep you in great overall shape.

How To Overcome Fitness Plateaus
Don’t stay at that same level, learn how to move up and achieve your fitness goals.

Lying Tricep Extension
Lear how to do this exercise that targets your triceps and makes them big.

Preacher Curls
Find out how to do this great exercise that will help you get amazing biceps.

Pure Fitness
Think of pure fitness as pure energy, pure health, pure water and especially pure food sources.

Seated Abdominal Cable Crunch
Find out how to do this exercise that targets your abs.

How Did Monique Lose Her Weight?

Many people are asking how did Monique lose her weight? In addition to being known as a loud, boisterous, amazingly funny comedienne, Monique is now also attracting attention for losing more than 40 pounds. Proud of her plus size figure, she admits to seeing herself as a big, beautiful sex kitten.

However, a few years ago, her husband asked about her weight in such a gentle, loving way that she realized she needed to drop more than a few pounds. At 262, when she started her weight loss journey, she loved her body and the way she looked. However, she realized that this was putting her in a very high risk category for diabetes and high blood pressure.

The mother of a 19 year old and a set of three year old twins, she hosts a plus-size beauty pageant and has made appearances on a variety of reality TV episodes and talk shows. Many people wonder, how did Monique lose her weight in the midst of all of her personal and professional responsibilities? She became serious about weight loss when her husband voiced his concern, stating that he wanted to have her for a lifetime. Monique found a trainer that understands a big woman鈥檚 body and how to maximize weight loss for that body type.

She works out, incorporating cardio, stretching and weight training. For her it鈥檚 all about being healthy. There are no fad weight loss diet plans, or gimmicks involved. She has changed her eating habits slowly, over a period of time, beginning with cutting out the junk food. Instead of reaching for cakes, cookies and potato chips, she has stocked her refrigerator and pantry with healthier options. Red meat and fried foods have been replaced with fresh fish and salads. To stay hydrated throughout the day, she drinks water and it’s a lot of water. It’s about a gallon a day. With the addition of her trainer, she has also maintained a steady gym routine.

How did Monique lose her weight? If you look closely, you鈥檒l find that not only does she work hard, she plays hard. She told Oprah that she dances to help improve her weight loss. She says that she sweats and moves muscles that she didn鈥檛 know she had. The fat is just going away as Monique continues her routine.

Monique is not shy about her weight loss. She believes in being big and beautiful, but she wants to be healthy at the same time. Her goal is to be around to meet her children鈥檚 children. With a healthy diet and a weight loss regimen, she has been able to lose more than forty pounds. Monique weight loss is a real success story.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili – Mega Delicious

Unusual recipes occasionally turn out to be some of the best recipes in your food arsenal and this sweet potato black bean chili recipe is certainly at the top of our list.

Being that we were blessed this late summer with a good crop of sweet potatoes from our organic garden, we had to find something to with half a paper bag full of potatoes, thus our new chili recipe was born, with a little help from Eating Well Online.

One of the things I noticed right away after Jean cooked up a pot of this delicious chili was that it actually had a mild sweetness to it, more so that our other easy chili recipe. Of course you will get some sweetness from the added agave, raw sugar or honey, but this flavor is a little different. But don’t worry it’s nothing like candy sweet, it’s just a hint of sweet flavor that gives this dish a very robust and hearty flavor. We’re sure you are going to love it.

Ingredients for Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili:

  • 2 teaspoons cold pressed coconut oil
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 3 to 4 cups diced sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 陆 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • Dash cinnamon
  • 1.5 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight and cooked until soft
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 2 teaspoon sucanat/honey/raw sugar
  • 录-1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Your first step is to saute the onion, garlic and celery in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Then add cooked beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, sweetener, and spices. Stir together and add salt to taste. Bring to a simmer then lower and cook over low heat until sweet potatoes are cooked through.

You can enjoy your black bean sweet potato chili on its own or serve over freshly cooked brown rice. Alan likes his chili with a liberal sprinkling of Louisiana Hot Sauce.

We hope you enjoy it!

Easy Chili Recipe – Best Chili Ever

This easy chili recipe is also my best chili ever recipe. You can鈥檛 beat it for also being a great healthy recipe as well.

Most people love chili, but it can become a very unhealthy dish with all the meat and cheese people put in it and on it. This meatless chili recipe is made from mostly living food and has an ample amount of protein because of the beans. Additionally it is high in fiber. I think you will be surprised at how tasty a meatless chili recipe can be.

This easy Chili recipe is great for raw foodists and vegans alike.

Easy Chili Recipe – Best Chili Ever Recipe

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves 6

Plan ahead preparation:

Soak 录 cup sun dried tomatoes for approximately 1 hour. Place sun dried tomatoes in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Just cover them with purified water.
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I use dark red kidney beans for my chili, which I sprout ahead of time. (sprouted kidney beans must be cooked before using) A sprouted bean has much more nutrition in it that a dry bean. Once a bean is sprouted it becomes living and growing and no longer in its dormant state.

To sprout the beans, I soak 1 cup of kidney beans in purified water over night (approximately 8 hours) drain and rinse. I rinse and drain 3x鈥檚 a day for 2 – 3 more days until I see their little tails start sprouting. Then I slow cook them on the lowest temperature of my crock pot until tender. For more information on sprouting visit Sprout People. One cup of dry beans equals about 2 cups sprouted and/or cooked beans.

Of course you don鈥檛 have to sprout your beans, especially if you are in a hurry, canned beans will work fine.

My final 鈥plan ahead鈥 preparation tip is, bring all vegetables to room temperature before assembling your healthy chili recipe.

Vegetable Chili recipe base:

2 录 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
录 cup soaked sun dried tomatoes
2/3 chopped celery
陆 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 jalapeno slice
1 cup fresh cilantro
戮 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
录 teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon honey

Put all the above ingredients for the chili healthy recipe base, including soaking water for tomatoes, in your food processor and puree.

Pour vegetable chili recipe base into a bowl. Gently stir into chili healthy recipe base approximately 2 cups finely chopped zucchini and 录 cup finely chopped sweet onion along with 2 cups of dark red kidney beans.

Taste your easy chili recipe and adjust the flavors. You can enjoy your healthy chili recipe as is or you can spoon it over 陆 cup brown rice per serving.

To your healthy chili!

Kale Soup Recipe With Tomatoes

We are sure you will love this delicious kale soup recipe because it鈥檚 sort of like what’s served at Olive Garden, only it鈥檚 a vegan version. Kale is so easy to grow in a Florida garden. It seems to flourish in the cool fall and winter months and has a long growing season. So far, our experience is that it is immune to pests and funguses. These positive growing variables result in plenty of kale for which the gardener has to find uses for.

Besides using kale to make wonderful, nutritional green smoothies and giving it away to your neighbors another nutritious way to use kale is in soup. We love soup, especially in the cooler months 鈥 so I developed a vegan kale soup recipe which uses sundried tomatoes and potatoes.

Kale Soup With Tomatoes Recipe

1 medium onion chopped
4 large cloves of garlic minced
4 cups torn kale
4-6 cups miso broth
One 15 ounce can of beans (your choice 鈥 navy or cannelloni work well)
1 medium potato chopped
10 sundried tomato halves chopped
1 cup fresh parsley chopped
1 tablespoon each Fresh rosemary, oregano and thyme
sea salt and pepper to taste

Using a large pot lightly saut茅 the onions, garlic and kale in a small amount of water or high heat oil. Once the kale and onions are softened add the rest of the ingredients. Cook gently on low until the potatoes are softened when you stick a fork into them. As soon as the potatoes are cooked through, your kale and tomato soup recipe is ready to be enjoyed. Just season with sea salt and pepper and serve.

We hope you enjoy this delicious kale recipe.

Tomato Vegetable Soup – The Hearty Kind

Winter time is a great time to make Hearty Tomato Vegetable Soup. Soup is food for the soul. And though it鈥檚 satisfying and comforting all year round, it鈥檚 especially welcomed on a cold day.

This Hearty Tomato Veggie Soup is one of the most nutritious and delicious vegetarian veggie soups you can make. Alter the vegetables, depending on what you have on hand, and make your own favorite vegetable soup creation.

That makes this soup more nutritious than any other soup you鈥檝e likely had is that it is living. Therefore the colors remain vibrant while the soup is also bursting with real all natural flavors. These flavors are truly all natural, unlike the excitotoxins found in the 鈥渘atural flavorings鈥 additives found in most processed vegetable soups from your grocer鈥檚 shelf.

Hearty Tomato Vegetable Soup

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

Plan ahead preparation: Bring all vegetables used in the soup to room temperature before assembling the soup. Soak 录 cup sun dried tomatoes and 1 pitted date for 1 hour in 陆 cup purified water. Dissolve 1 tablespoon brown rice miso in 1 cup purified water.

The following ingredients are for the soup base:

3 very ripe roma tomatoes chunked
2/3 cup red pepper chunked
陆 cup celery chunked
陆 cup fresh basil
2 large cloves garlic minced
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 small sweet onion chunked
陆 teaspoon herbemare (sea salt and herb product found at health food store)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Place all the above ingredients for soup base in your food processor with the S blade in place. Add the sun dried tomatoes and date with soaking water. Puree, gradually add the miso broth and continue to puree until smooth. Pour into a small pot with lid that will hold 1 陆 quarts. Taste and adjust flavors to your liking.

The following are ingredients to add to the soup broth:

Slice one peeled medium carrot into very thin rounds
陆 cup zucchini sliced Julianne style
陆 cup yellow squash sliced Julianne style
录 cup green pepper diced
录 cup yellow pepper diced

I use my mandolin to slice the carrot as well as the zucchini and yellow squash. The zucchini and squash are cut into approximately 1 to 1 陆 inch slices and have the appearance of noodles.

Gently stir vegetables into the vegetable broth to complete your Hearty Tomato Vegetable Soup.


Inspired by the Thick & Chunky Vegetable Soup recipe in the Jan/Feb issue of Back To The Garden at

California Miso Soup Recipe

I love soup, especially Japanese miso soup 鈥 that lovely thin, salty, broth with the distinct miso flavor. On a raw food diet however it never really occurred to me that I could enjoy the best of both worlds 鈥 at least until my moment of inspiration. A few weeks ago, I was thinking about what I could make for lunch that would be different than the usual salad or fruit smoothie.

For some reason I had been thinking about miso soup that day. Then my thoughts went to the nori sheets in the pantry I had never used, and next I remembered the sweet potato in the refrigerator that was begging to be eaten and suddenly, through a spark of inspiration, a new recipe was born 鈥 California Miso Soup. I went straight to work on it and in about 15 minutes had created this wonderful sort of raw soup creation I call California Miso Soup.

First, for those who are not familiar with miso, let me explain. Miso is a condiment the Japanese use to flavor food. It is a thick paste made from fermenting and aging soybean and/or rice with a mould called koji. For this soup base, I use an organic mellow white miso made by Westbrae. The great thing about this product is that it is unpasteurized 鈥 meaning it鈥檚 loaded with enzymes.

California Miso Soup Recipe Ingredients (for 2 servings)

Heat 2 cups of filtered water in a sauce pan (Do not boil, It will aggravate the flavor of the nori)
Cut a few slices of nori into the water 鈥 like nori noodles or flakes (Nori is an edible seaweed, dried and made into sheets. It is typically used to wrap sushi)
3 heaping tablespoons mellow white miso 鈥 make a slurry first by stirring in a little hot water.
Stir the miso slurry into the hot water with the nori noodles.
Remove miso soup base from burner.

Place the following ingredients in a bowl:

Use your spirooli or spiralizer to make sweet potato and zucchini noodles
Use your mandolin to make very thin carrot discs
Slice green onion
Chop celery
Chop 陆 Haas avocado
Snipped fresh parsley

Add all the vegetables and herbs from your bowl to the soup base, stir gently, season with herbamare, and eat immediately.

This soup takes 10 minutes to make and is absolutely delicious. You can add as many or as few vegetables as you like. If you don鈥檛 have all the ingredients listed here, customize it and make it your own.

This miso soup recipe is even more delicious with sprouted wheat crackers made in the dehydrator.

Eat healthy, be healthy!