Hunger

imagesAs the sapphire blues of twilight grow deeper day by day, the orange flames of leaves flare against the onset of the long night and I find myself, lingering over the half-shadows in my own mind. Nostalgic for the crisp autumn air of New England I begin musing over my favorite Gothic ghost stories birthed from our romantic ancestors, when our country was young but old enough to have some wicked history.

In a moment of reverie, I was warming myself by a stone fireplace, sipping hot cider and mulling over what do all the classic creatures of horror have in common? It occurred to me that the answer is hunger. But hunger for what is the real question? And thus naturally, I, a personal trainer based in Los Angeles realized I could diversify and capitalize on a market that no one else has yet thought of, nutrition for monsters. So for the purposes of this article I will focus on the main four, vampires, Frankenstein, were-wolves and zombies.

images-1The Vampire – studies show that a wide percentage of vampires try to solely sustain themselves on a liquid diet. Some even going to the lengths of adding chili pepper, lemon juice and a stalk of celery for flavor and purportedly to boost their metabolisms. Well no wonder they are so pale, lethargic and prone to wild and violent mood swings! Lack of carbs and sufficient protein will do that to a person. Often, one’s dietary habits are not due to physical reasons but mental. So what is it that the vampire is truly craving? I guess the answer would be life. And to further that line of thought, the underlying drive to suck out someone else’s life is really a fear of your own death. For a vampire to begin experiencing better health I would advocate supplementation of protein shakes and energy bars to balance out the mood-swings, a dosage of iron to get rid of that anemic look and a qualified therapist to address this severe mortality phobia.

Frankenstein –this creature is rarely seen eating at all, save for soup and several pints of ale. Skipping meals is proven to cause drops in serotonin levels and endorphins. Low levels of such can lead to lethargy (as exhibited by all the creature’s moaning) and depression (please see, the sad face of the reanimated for proof.) But again, I have to ask, “for what is Frankenstein truly hungering?” Like the vampire, perhaps the eating or lack thereof is triggered by emotional reasons. After further research, I have concluded that Frankenstein is hungering for love. He has a tremendous hole in his psyche due to the rejection of him by his society, his family, specifically, his father. Thus, he has turned to alcohol. And who hasn’t tried to drown their sorrows in a pint or to drown them enough to enable “beer goggles” and a one-night stand? For this client I would recommend, attempting to eat more consistently, maybe 3-4 times a day, to cut back on alcohol consumption and to register on Match.com. My advice, parents are complicated and issues may never be resolved, so focus on the things you can control like better eating habits and developing a family of your own choosing.

UnknownWere-wolves – the body-builders of the underworld. Like so many, misguided weight-lifting champions, the were-wolves ingestion of massive amounts of protein is ill conceived. While it does aid in the quick creation of muscle, any excess is simply secreted out of the body. But this dietary habit quickly becomes destructive to the kidneys and other organs. Indeed it makes me wonder, is this creature, like so many devotees of “Muscle and Fiction” on steroids? It would account for the sensitivity to light, the sudden changes in hair growth due to hormonal fluctuations as well as the sudden outbursts of rage. Furthermore, the were-wolf can never successfully have relations with the female kind, also a side effect of drug use. Unlike Frankenstein, the were-wolf has given up a desire for love from the father and hungers simply for revenge. Like so many Olympic lifters, the chemical onset of muscle mass is merely an overcompensation for the smallness one feels inside. Alas, the were-wolf is likely to not be able to overcome his addictions and will probably die a pre-mature death due to heart complications, emotional or otherwise.

Lastly, I address the zombie – the athlete of the horror world. The zombie is at the top of the food chain and like other large hunters is a very successful omnivore. They get enough protein, heme-iron (from red blood cells) and calcium (from bones;) and they eat frequent meals. I would argue however, that they don’t appear to be optimally hydrated, due to the slaver that most exhibit. Additionally, I would recommend an increase in fruits and vegetables to give the benefit of a fully rounded diet. What is intriguing and needs more study is the sudden evolutionary adaptation of the “fast” zombie. Perhaps, it is a secondary gain coming from a leaner, less fatty meat selection. I must comment though that the zombie has a relentless, hunger for “more.” Like so many athletic superstars, after achieving their peak, they just don’t know how to retire gracefully. Their negative attitude and willful antics simply leave everyone with a bad taste in their mouths. The hunger for “more,” this greediness just leads to massive destruction and chaos on relationships.

As I slip back into my reverie, and the blue twilight fades to the black of a Pookah’s coat, I leave you to wonder, “Life, love, approval, revenge, anarchy…or maybe just a taffy apple or some candy? For what do you truly hunger?”images

* I wrote this article for the Halloween edition of an online publication called, “Magic Cat Press Spookfest 2011.” And have reposted it here in honor of Halloween 2013!

Advertisements

Hunger:

imagesAs the sapphire blues of twilight grow deeper day by day, the orange flames of leaves flare against the onset of the long night and I find myself, lingering over the half-shadows in my own mind. Nostalgic for the crisp autumn air of New England I begin musing over my favorite Gothic ghost stories birthed from our romantic ancestors, when our country was young but old enough to have some wicked history.

In a moment of reverie, I was warming myself by a stone fireplace, sipping hot cider and mulling over what do all the classic creatures of horror have in common? It occurred to me that the answer is hunger. But hunger for what is the real question? And thus naturally, I, a personal trainer based in Los Angeles realized I could diversify and capitalize on a market that no one else has yet thought of, nutrition for monsters. So for the purposes of this article I will focus on the main four, vampires, Frankenstein, were-wolves and zombies.

    images-1 The Vampire – studies show that a wide percentage of vampires try to solely sustain themselves on a liquid diet. Some even going to the lengths of adding chili pepper, lemon juice and a stalk of celery for flavor and purportedly to boost their metabolisms. Well no wonder they are so pale, lethargic and prone to wild and violent mood swings! Lack of carbs and sufficient protein will do that to a person. Often, one’s dietary habits are not due to physical reasons but mental. So what is it that the vampire is truly craving? I guess the answer would be life. And to further that line of thought, the underlying drive to suck out someone else’s life is really a fear of your own death. For a vampire to begin experiencing better health I would advocate supplementation of protein shakes and energy bars to balance out the mood-swings, a dosage of iron to get rid of that anemic look and a qualified therapist to address this severe mortality phobia.

     Frankenstein –this creature is rarely seen eating at all, save for soup and several pints of ale. Skipping meals is proven to cause drops in serotonin levels and endorphins. Low levels of such can lead to lethargy (as exhibited by all the creature’s moaning) and depression (please see, the sad face of the reanimated for proof.) But again, I have to ask, “for what is Frankenstein truly hungering?” Like the vampire, perhaps the eating or lack thereof is triggered by emotional reasons. After further research, I have concluded that Frankenstein is hungering for love. He has a tremendous hole in his psyche due to the rejection of him by his society, his family, specifically, his father. Thus, he has turned to alcohol. And who hasn’t tried to drown their sorrows in a pint or to drown them enough to enable “beer goggles” and a one-night stand? For this client I would recommend, attempting to eat more consistently, maybe 3-4 times a day, to cut back on alcohol consumption and to register on Match.com. My advice, parents are complicated and issues may never be resolved, so focus on the things you can control like better eating habits and developing a family of your own choosing.

    Unknown Were-wolves – the body-builders of the underworld. Like so many, misguided weight-lifting champions, the were-wolves ingestion of massive amounts of protein is ill conceived. While it does aid in the quick creation of muscle, any excess is simply secreted out of the body. But this dietary habit quickly becomes destructive to the kidneys and other organs. Indeed it makes me wonder, is this creature, like so many devotees of “Muscle and Fiction” on steroids? It would account for the sensitivity to light, the sudden changes in hair growth due to hormonal fluctuations as well as the sudden outbursts of rage. Furthermore, the were-wolf can never successfully have relations with the female kind, also a side effect of drug use. Unlike Frankenstein, the were-wolf has given up a desire for love from the father and hungers simply for revenge. Like so many Olympic lifters, the chemical onset of muscle mass is merely an overcompensation for the smallness one feels inside. Alas, the were-wolf is likely to not be able to overcome his addictions and will probably die a pre-mature death due to heart complications, emotional or otherwise.

     Lastly, I address the zombie – the athlete of the horror world. The zombie is at the top of the food chain and like other large hunters is a very successful omnivore. They get enough protein, heme-iron (from red blood cells) and calcium (from bones;) and they eat frequent meals. I would argue however, that they don’t appear to be optimally hydrated, due to the slaver that most exhibit. Additionally, I would recommend an increase in fruits and vegetables to give the benefit of a fully rounded diet. What is intriguing and needs more study is the sudden evolutionary adaptation of the “fast” zombie. Perhaps, it is a secondary gain coming from a leaner, less fatty meat selection. I must comment though that the zombie has a relentless, hunger for “more.” Like so many athletic superstars, after achieving their peak, they just don’t know how to retire gracefully. Their negative attitude and willful antics simply leave everyone with a bad taste in their mouths. The hunger for “more,” this greediness just leads to massive destruction and chaos on relationships.

     As I slip back into my reverie, and the blue twilight fades to the black of a Pookah’s coat, I leave you to wonder, “Life, love, approval, revenge, anarchy…or maybe just a taffy apple or some candy? For what do you truly hunger?”

images

* I wrote this article for the Halloween edition of an online publication called, “Magic Cat Press Spookfest 2011.” And have reposted it here in honor of Halloween 2013!

Link

http://www.everydayhealth.com/heart-health/heart-disease-on-the-rise.aspx?xid=aol_eh-cardio_2_20131021_&aolcat=ESR&ncid=webmail30″ title=”Heart Disease On The Rise” target=”_blank”>

The Obesity Epidemic

For Tracy L. Stevens, MD, a cardiologist in the Saint Luke’s Health System in Kansas City, Mo., and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association, at the top of the list of causes is that more Americans are overweight and too sedentary.

“A big thing is Americans, for the most part, have lost track of who is responsible for their health,” she said. “Americans think it’s someone else, and they don’t have that discipline every day to be on top of their risk factors.”

Hey Victory Fitness – Do you train kids? “Check”, Do you train adults? “Check”, Can you help me lose weight? “Check!” THEN LET’S DO THIS!

Balance Training

UnknownImagine you at age seven.  Now see yourself on a see-saw.  You are alone; your butt is low to the ground and it feels like a 1000 pounds.  On the other end sticking up in the air, seemingly far away is the empty end of the beam.  As you gaze longingly up into the blue sky, squinting at the warm afternoon sunbeams, a friend comes by.  This could really get going now; you could overcome Newtonian inertia and have a great playtime. But the friend sits down right in front of you and they too are facing the tilted empty distant plank.  So you ask the friend to go sit on the other end instead and the board comes into neutral and now, you can control the direction, pace and fun.

“What is the point of all this,” you ask? It’s simply a metaphor for balance.  I continually, see people who need work on balance. I’m not talking about being able to stand on one foot for thirty seconds.  I’m talking about the guy who’s working a 60 hour work week and then comes in at 7pm to do Boot Camp Class or the yoga die-hard who thinks stretching alone can take away all your aches and pains.

It is shocking to me how many people never stop to consider how much they are demanding from their bodies and yet, have absolutely no comprehension of how the system is actually functioning.  Consider a race-car driver who has no understanding of auto-mechanics but who simply wants to get in the car and go fast…predictably, a crash is probably in the near future.

I know many serious cyclists, marathoners and triathletes, many of whom just to do the training for their events are continually putting their bodies under a lot of stress.  It doesn’t feel all that demanding, because like all things you get used to it. Go back to imagining the kid on the teeter-totter.  If you sat in the down position for several hours, that would begin to feel normal. But your playmate brings the board into balance; it now feels “scary” and “awkward” because you just haven’t done that before, and yet, it’s doing what the toy was designed to do.

So let’s go back to that work-a-holic guy in the bootcamp class.  I’m not saying he needs to give up working out.  But I would recommend finding a workout routine that works on strength training but without the fever pitch pace.  And maybe a yoga class – NOT HOT OR POWER YOGA and a little more sleep.  We want to balance the plank.  Now for the lady in yoga class, who keeps complaining about back pain and thinks more stretching and more yoga is just what she needs.  I would recommend that lady find a great core class and build some muscle mass in order to stabilize her joints, instead of asking her tendons and ligaments to keep over-extending.  And you athletes – find some Hatha yoga, or even a basic breathing relaxation technique class, and let your system rest and repair itself so it can keep performing optimally. You may think that a boot camp class would count as “cross-training” because you’re not technically running or cycling.  BUT if your muscles and joints are doing rapid fire movement and your heart rate is in your training zone, to your nervous system, you’re still doing endurance training.

As Indiana Jones says, “It ain’t the years honey, it’s the mileage.”  If you want to keep playing forever, you have to begin to understand how your system is designed.  If you’re giving it a lot of one thing, give it the things it doesn’t have!  And if you need a playmate to help balance that board…contact me!  Deborah@VicFitLA.com!

Fast Feast! 20 Minute Steak Meal

IMG_0207Dinner: Step One: Put long grain rice (I used long grain basmati) rice on to cook per package instructions – Do Not Use “quick rice – it lacks all nutrients.” Seriously, how difficult is it to cook real rice?!

Step Two: Slice an Onion. I cut it into about 8 wedges. Chop up a red pepper in 2” pieces and similarly chop a couple large mushrooms.  Heat “two glugs” of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  When you start to smell the olive oil it’s ready.  Toss the onions in first and cook for a few minutes; then add the pepper and mushrooms, salt and pepper and probably a little more olive oil.

Step Three: Dice up some herbs – I used rosemary and Italian (flat-leaf) parsley. Peel a garlic clove and slice in half.  Season your steak (if thick cut, pound it with a rolling pin or a pan a couple of times to make it thinner) with salt and pepper, rub with the garlic and then rub with the olive oil.

Step Four: When the veggies are cooked to your liking – I prefer them to still have just a touch of crunch left, remove them from the pan, place in a bowl and cover to keep warm.  Put another “glug” of olive oil in the pan, allow it to heat for a minute.  Then put the steaks in and cook to your desired doneness.  Remove your steaks and let them rest.

Step Five: Take your cooked rice and put it in the pan that the steaks and veg were in just long enough for the rice to absorb all the juices and browned bits…this way you throw in a little extra flavor to your rice and no flavor gets left behind!  Squeeze a little lemon juice over the whole thing and Ta Da!  Looks fancy! Tastes Great! Easy!

Personal Training Too Expensive?

Willow's victory was getting a treat after posing for this shot.

Willow’s victory was getting a treat after posing for this shot.

Hey VicFitLA fans!

You CAN afford to have the BEST personal trainer who can get you the RESULTS you want!

We have a range of affordable prices:

  • $25/Month
  • $150/Month
  • $50/Session

So get off the couch, grab a buddy and walk the three feet to your computer screen and give us a try today!

You might be shocked at how easy and FUN it is!

Why Train Everyone the Same?

8648876146_3df3e20120_nAttention fitness professionals: Why is there such a focus and an assumption that everyone on the planet should or wants to look like a Navy Seal?!  Over and over I see fitness professionals trying to “motivate” people by putting them through the same paces an athlete goes through. But the truth of the situation is that 1) Most athletes are bit on the nutty scale psychologically, myself included – how else could I have completely ripped my hamstring off the bone but still went out for a pint with friends?! 2) Most athletes, including ex-military pay a price for pushing their bodies so hard. Ask any paratrooper over 50 how their knees and back feel on most days. 3) The general population can benefit greatly by exercise, but are “boot camp” and “cross-fit” style workouts appropriate? I see fitness professionals trying their best to motivate but without a good sense of how they are being perceived.  To a die-hard gym rat, these high energy classes seem like “fun.” But to the person who is shy, weak and uncomfortable with their body this approach can look like a coked-out 80’s aerobic instructor or a tatted up Russian UFC fighter – neither is going to be terribly successful on enticing the people who really need our help!

If we truly want to practice what we preach as fitness professionals, that our goals are to help people have better day to day health and to reach physical and mental goals previously thought to be unattainable, then we must stop trying to expect everyone to be the same or to be motivated the same way.  We must stop putting the average client through workouts that we would find exhilarating and rather begin where they are.

I do believe that every person can train to their individual highest level.  But the job of the trainer is to shore up the weak spots and develop that individual’s best skills.  Imagine if you were putting together an elite team.  Yes, you would want everyone’s base level of conditioning to be up to the level that will be demanded in the game.  But you wouldn’t take your fastest guy and make him your blocker.  Nor if you needed an agile, swift and light person would you send in the strongman competitor.

If we want to create better health in the nations, we have to do it via good management.  Adaptable training can serve all people successfully – but the trainers’ need to shift approach to make that elite team happen!