Chicago personal training

Weight Loss Recipe: Chili Cajun Chicken and Sauteed Vegetables

My personal training clients in Chicago are always searching for simple and quick weight loss recipes (see more below). It is amazing how easy it is to create a gourmet meal within 15 minutes using the broiler (my new best friend). Try my newest personal trainer recipe!

Chili Cajun Chicken

1. Preheat the broiler on high heat.

2. Cut 1 lb of chicken breasts into 1-inch strips and dry. In a ziploc bag, toss 1/2 cup of almond flour, 3 tablespoons of cajun seasoning, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and spread evenly on a plate.

3. Place each strip on the plate, flip until it is evenly coated, and place it on an oiled pan.

4. Cook the coated chicken in the broiler on high heat for 2 minutes and then switch the broiler heat to low for 5 minutes. Finally, switch the heat back to high for another 2 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 170 (5-7 minutes).

5. Meanwhile, warm 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic in 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a saute pan on medium heat. Once the oil begins to smoke lightly, add a sliced small sweet onion and salt and pepper (to taste). Stir every minute until the onions are carmelized.

6. Finally, add a layer of sliced green peppers. Stir frequently until the green peppers are warm and slightly firm.

Article Credit:
Weight Loss Recipe: Chili Cajun Chicken and Sauteed Vegetables
A delicious weight loss cajun chicken recipe for my personal training clients in Chicago.

Do This Every Day, and You May Lose 20 Pounds in 6 Months

When's the last time you weighed yourself? If you can’t remember or you don’t even own a scale, read on to find out how weighing in may help you peel off pounds.

According to a first-of-its-kind study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers from Duke University Obesity Prevention Program and the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill reported that those who weighed themselves daily lost about three times as much weight and body fat, compared to those who were less diligent about stepping on the scale.

The six-month study included 47 overweight men and women who were randomly assigned to the “intervention” group, which included the use of electronic scales that were networked to the researchers' computer network. All 47 subjects were instructed to weigh in daily and were given some basic advice about healthy eating and exercise behaviors to promote steady weight loss (i.e., increase water consumption, walk more, eat fewer snacks, enjoy more fruits/veggies). Using objective data from the subjects' e-scales, the researchers could objectively track the frequency of weigh-ins as well as the subjects’ weights.

Results? Compliance to frequent weigh-ins was very high, with 75 percent of the subjects weighed in at least six days a week. Those who weighed in daily (51 percent of all subjects) lost an average of 20 pounds, compared to an average of 7 pounds lost among those who weighed themselves an average of five days per week. Subjects who weighed themselves daily were also more likely to report following through on recommended diet and lifestyle behaviors.

According to one of the study’s authors, Dr. Deborah Tate, director of the Weight Research Program at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, “Daily weighing helps with self-regulation and directly linking eating and activity behaviors with weight. You can quickly see very small daily changes in weight of 0.1 or 0.2 lbs. that tell you whether your current eating and activity are enough to help you lose weight or if you need to do more.” This study adds to previous studies that also reported that those who weigh themselves more frequently lose more weight and are less likely to gain weight over time.

However, many dietitians don’t recommend frequent weigh-ins for fear that their weight loss clients will be discouraged if the number increases or obsessed with the scale. However, according to Tate: “We conducted two other studies – both included overweight and obese adults without eating disorders – and both studies showed that beginning to weigh daily was not harmful in terms of eating disorder or depressive symptoms.”

Other dietitians are against traditional scales because they can’t account for body composition. “I don't recommend using the scale at all,” says registered dietitian Stephanie Mull of the George Washington University Weight Management and Human Performance Lab in Ashburn, Virginia. “We have many clients who see little changes in overall weight, but have significant reductions in body fat. That is why we use dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry or InBody assessment to accurately measure fat and lean tissue of our clients."

Bottom line: If you like setting goals and can use the number on the scale as objective data (without judging or attaching negative emotions to the number), I recommend trying frequent weigh-ins. If you're in the market for a new scale, consider a scale with bioelectric impedance so you can see changes in percent body fat. Other ways to help determine if you’re losing body fat is to measure your waist circumference every three weeks; if you’re losing inches from your waistline, you’re reducing body fat. You may just be surprised to find out how this simple daily habit can help improve your diet and your success during personal training sessions.

Article Credit:
Author: Julie Upton (U.S. News & World Report)
Do This Every Day, and You May Lose 20 Pounds in 6 Months
Personal trainer tips for weight loss.

10 Reasons You Should Never, Ever Wear Flip-Flops

It's summer! What are you going to wear on your feet? Hopefully not flip-flops. Check out this recent article from Cosmopolitan magazine before your next personal training session and find out the blistering effects of your favorite pair of sandals.


As the weather warms up, it's hard to resist the urge to break out the truest sign of summer: flip-flops. But most experts are horrified by the idea. Here's why you should reserve your flip-flops for the beach, pool, spa, and shared showers — and keep your feet out of them, otherwise, according to Dr. Jackie Sutera, DPM, a podiatrist and spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.

1. They expose your feet to bacteria, viral, and fungal infections.

Any time your feet get particularly filthy (i.e., any time you wear your flip-flops in public), they're likely covered in some nasty things likes Staphylococcus, a bacteria that can irritate the skin on your foot in the best case or lead to amputation in the worst-case scenarios. (It depends on whether you have open wounds, like microwounds from exfoliation during a recent pedicure, or actual cuts, and your state of health when you pick up the bacteria.) Athlete's foot, an itchy fungal infection that's highly contagious, is spread by contact with something that's contaminated. When you wander around nearly barefoot, you're screwed if this fungus crosses your path. And the same goes for the virus that causes warts, human papillomavirus (HPV).

2. They slow you down.

An Auburn University study found that flip-flop wearers take smaller steps than people who wear sneakers.

3. They make you extra clumsy.

Those short strides you take when you wear flip-flops? They increase your risk of tripping (or being trampled in a crowd).

4. They destroy your heels.

Because your heels hit the ground with more force when there's nothing but a measly piece of foam separating your foot from the ground, walking in flip-flops accentuates the heel-strike impact, which could end up causing pain — especially if you stand or walk in them for extended periods of time.

5. They can cause terrible blisters.

When a thin strap is the only thing that holds your shoe on, that strap rubs up against your skin every time you take a step. This can cause irritation and blisters. When blisters pop, you're left with an open wound that makes you more vulnerable to the pathogens you pick up anytime your foot is exposed.

6. They can permanently damage your toes.

Ever hear of hammertoe? It's when the knuckles of your toes bend. When you wear flip-flops, your toes need to work extra hard to keep the shoe on your foot, which can cause hammertoe over time. If you want to avoid stiffness, pain, and potentially, surgery, you'll stick with strappier sandals (ideally, a pair with a thick strap at the midfoot, and one that goes behind your ankle). Think Birkenstocks and Tevas, which — just your luck! — happen to be trendier than flip-flops. Most important, it will affect your performance during your session with a personal trainer.

7. They mess with your posture.

Any super-flat shoe that doesn't bend like your foot does when you walk barefoot alters your biomechanics and affects posture.

8. They can cause shooting pains.

People with flat feet need arch support to keep their knees, hips, and back aligned. In a flat shoe, there's none of that, so your joints have to compensate. This can cause overuse injuries all the way up the body, including Achilles tendonitis (injury to the tendon that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone), heel pain, and pinched nerves in the back. Not surprising, most personal training clients come in with one injury or another. Does your injury stem from flip-flops?

9. They can exacerbate bunions.

Because your toes have to work so hard to keep flip-flops on your feet, over-gripping can aggravate people with unsightly and painful bunions, a bump at the big toe joint. Not good.

10. They could be made of toxic materials.

Plastic straps may be made of latex, which many people are allergic to, or plastic that contains BPA, a toxin linked to various cancers. Do you really want your toes to get all up in that? Opt for sandals with fabric or leather straps, because natural materials tend to be safer.Still feel like such a flip-flop day? (Didn't think so.)

Article Credit:
Author: Elizabeth Narins (Cosmopolitan)
10 Reasons You Should Never, Ever Wear Flip-Flops
Fitness and injury tips to help your personal training in Chicago.

What You Don't Know About Your Waistline

Are you at a healthy weight? Maybe so. The real question is: Do you have a healthy waistline? You may not. While measuring your weight and body fat may give you a glimpse of the trends and patterns of you, it doesn't give you the whole story. Your waistline may be the bigger indicator of diabetes and heart disease. Check out the NY Times article How Does Your Waistline Matter? Let Us Count the Ways. to learn about one patient's surprise lesson. It may change your perspective while you personal train.

Article Credit:
What You Don't Know About Your Waistline
Weight loss and the importance of your waistline.

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