senior fitness trainer

The Personal Trainer's Guide to Staying Healthy While Traveling

Many of my personal training clients fear that they will sacrifice their health and weight loss goals while traveling. Fear not! Here is my quick guide to maintaining what you worked so hard for!

Don’t touch your face without washing your hands

Whether traveling by planes, trains, or automobiles, you most likely are hanging out in well-populated public places….which increases your exposure to bacteria and viruses. While I don’t think you should hole yourself in a closet for the rest of your life, I do advocate some boundaries. The first rule of staying healthy on the road is resisting the urge to touch your face without washing your hands. You might be surprised to learn how often you touch your lips, nose, and eyes each day. Each swipe of your hand gives germs access to your system. Considering that you’re sharing doorknobs, railings, counters, and faucet handles, your hands are constantly in contact with the world. Do yourself a favor and resist the urge to touch your face until you wash your hands.

Use disinfecting wipes while flying

Have you ever witnessed airline staff members wiping down tray tables and seat belts? Me neither. On average, each plane will see at least 2 flights each day (and we don’t know what special germs were left behind for us). Most likely, you will eat and/or drink off of the tray table….which makes cross-contamination easy. Before you sit, quickly wipe the seatbelt and the top and bottom of the tray table for 20 seconds. The little things that we overlook are the ones that affect us the most.

Always carry a water bottle

Too often, a cause of our exhaustion and hunger is dehydration. With the constant access of junk food on the road, it’s easy to convince yourself that you need an indulgence as a remedy (when all you need is a simple sip). Make yourself a rule: Any time you’re tired or hungry, drink 4-8 ounces of water and reassess. You might be surprised what you’ll find.


Usually your vacations are jam-packed with tourists activities….which rarely meet your minimum requirements of healthy physical movement. While I wouldn’t expect you (or my personal training clients) to exercise several hours per day during your break from reality, replacing your cab/uber rides with walks will still help you maintain your health and possibly weight loss. Believe it or not, walkers do lose weight while eating their way through Italy. Walking is the easiest way to move on the road and a great way to immerse yourself in new neighborhoods while keeping your engine revved up. Keep your senses alive and rise beyond the seat!

Split food

Enjoy the best of a dining experience while shrinking your portions: Split with a buddy! Instead of ordering 2 separate entrees (which are probably big enough for 3), share an entrée and an appetizer. This foodie approach is an easy way to enjoy more than one taste of the local culture while avoiding a belt-busting experience.

Finding a running group in the city that you’re visiting or signup for a 5k

Running is a global phenomenon that connects many cultures. Find another way to connect with the community that you’re visiting and find a local meetup for runners. What a neat way to participate in a social workout in a new environment! Google “running groups (insert location)” or “running clubs (insert location)” and extend yourself! You can also signup for a random 5k to enhance your workout too!

Make your food count with the ChefsFeed phone app

I always say that if you’re going to do it, do it well. Since my wife Sammy is an event sales manager in the restaurant industry, you probably know that I’m referring to restaurants. Exploring new dishes is a way of life-my life-and it tends to direct my travel choices. I can give you my normal personal trainer speel on following a true vegan lifestyle to achieve optimal health (even though all of us should). Instead, I’d rather try to persuade you to change your relationship with food. Stop eating just to fill up and eat with intent instead. Use the ChefsFeed phone app to strategically celebrate the favorite dishes and restaurants chosen by local chefs. Type in your location and sift through the many recommendations from the host culinary experts. It is possible to still meet your health goals while enjoying the best of life. You just need to be mindful and selective. Thanks for this suggestion, Carol!

Photo Credit:
Wanderlove. com –Can you wander and still keep your health in mind?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
The Personal Trainer's Guide to Staying Healthy While Traveling
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

"How to Design Your Kitchen for Weight-Loss Success" Review

When you’re ready to lose weight, you should start by examining your environment. How do you think it influences your eating behaviors? With this being said, it’s time to take a second look at the setup of your kitchen.

Have a set of measuring cups and spoons.

Using measuring tools helps you get a handle on what a portion looks like so you won't overeat. If my clients don't own these tools, I send them to the store after our first meeting to buy them! One set works — but if you're like me, you may find multiple sets useful. I like to keep tablespoons in containers of nuts and seeds to make healthy snacking a no-brainer.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: The best tip: Use measuring cups and spoons to scoop your food. Why guess the amount of food you need with a spoon or fork? There’s no better way to mindfully control your portions.

Place fruit on the counter.

Display those apples, pears, oranges, and bananas on the countertop. You can use a pretty fruit bowl, or you can repurpose a pie plate (that's what I do!). People who keep fruit on the countertop are more likely to have a lower BMI, a measure of body fat based on height and weight, according to a study published in Health Education and Behavior. When you want a snack, you'll be more likely to reach for the fruit because it's visible.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: I’d prefer that you ate small meals instead of snacking. Nevertheless, you are certainly more likely to grab what’s most convenient in front of you (or accessible). I’d keep this in mind as you grocery shop.

Hide the sugary stuff.

Love chocolate? Can't stop yourself when the jelly beans are in plain sight? People who kept candy on their desk ate almost three times more candy than volunteers who hid candy containers in their desks — and close to six times more than people who had to walk a short distance to get to the candy — according to a study published in the journal Appetite. Use this strategy in your kitchen: Hide candy in the back of the pantry or freezer. Better yet, remove the treats from the house completely. If you want a cookie, go to the bakery and buy one so you're not tempted to eat an entire package!

Personal Trainer Wisdom: It isn’t hidden if you were the one hiding it. I like the idea of the extra step to reach the food, but I don’t believe this is the most effective tactic. I love Snickers bars. If I want it, I will get it even if it’s 20 steps away. If you truly want to challenge yourself, though, don’t buy the treat for your home and office and see if you’ll actually go to the store in your moment of desire.

Rearrange your pantry.

Make healthy food easier to get to by placing it in the front of a cabinet. In the Health Education and Behavior study, normal-weight people were more likely to store snack foods out of sight in a cupboard or a drawer and to place healthier foods in more visible places. Women who had soda and breakfast cereal on the countertop weighed more, as did men with candy visible on the counter..

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Similar to the “Fruit on the Counter” idea.

Have an emergency stash.

One of the first things I advise new clients is shopping for a supply of healthy food. Fresh fruits, veggies, and proteins are fantastic to have on hand. But if you're a few days late with this week's grocery run or you're just getting back from vacation, you'll want to dip into your emergency supply for a healthy meal. Store frozen veggies and fruit in the freezer and brown rice, quinoa, canned beans, nuts and seeds in the pantry.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Most of my personal training clients get into the most trouble when the groceries run out. More likely than not, they grab what’s most available (and I’ve been guilty too). With the Amazon Fresh and Instacart grocery delivery services, I’ve been able to curb these habits. While paying $15-20 per week on the service may seem like an extra dent in your budget, it saves you money on eating out as well as creates time for more productive money-making tasks.

Photo Credit:–Do you think this kitchen setup will help you lose weight?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " How to Design Your Kitchen for Weight-Loss Success on (MSN News).
"How to Design Your Kitchen for Weight-Loss Success" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

37 Snack Ideas for Weight Loss (And You Won’t Be Bored)

As a personal trainer, my personal training clients always wonder what quick and healthy snack options will help them lose weight. With a little research (and tasting), I’ve compiled this master list to guide their (and your) choices. Please keep in mind that “snacks” are really filler foods or indulgences that rarely meet your entire nutritional need at a given time (such a tease!). You’re probably seeking food because you’re hungry, and a small meal is most ideal (even if it’s only 100-300 calories). Since you now eat with intent, you want to choose a nutrient balance of vitamins, fiber, protein, fat, and more.

The snacks/small meals below are perfect examples of delicious, on-the-go options that satisfy your hunger and nutritional needs without adding to your waistline. Be sure to bookmark this list in case you’re looking for something to prepare at home or pickup in-between appointments. I’ve included a number of meal delivery services as well. Finally, check out the "Ideal Weight Loss Plate" below to help you choose combinations beyond this list.

At-Home Ambition

- Kale, black bean, red pepper flakes, and avocado bowl
- Spanish spinach with chickpeas
- Hummus and tabouli salad
- Chickpea salad
- Mixed olives, almonds, and minced garlic tossed in a little tahini sauce
- Roasted chickpeas and carrots with lemon and tahini sauce and crushed almonds
- Cashews with sliced apples
- Pistachios with a banana
- Kale chips with jalapeno hummus and lemon
- Hummus with chia seeds and sliced bell peppers

Eating on the Road

- Tacos: Corn tortillas, avocado, black beans, romaine lettuce, pico de gallo
- Bowl: Black beans, pinto beans, fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa, tomatillo green-chili salsa, guacamole

- Bowl: Hummus, tomato and cucumber, fresh vegetables, red cabbage slaw, sumac onions
- Bowl: Tomato and cucumber, red cabbage slaw, sumac onions, tahini

Lyfe Kitchen
- Edamame hummus with seasonal vegetables
- Fish tacos with seasonal fish chayote slaw, avocado, cilantro, green onion, chipotle aioli, corn tortillas, salsa fresca
- Roasted curry cauliflower with brussels sprout petals, roasted grapes, capers

Protein Bar
- HI-5 Smoothie: Coconut milk, kale, spinach, cilantro, and pineapple blended with crushed ice
- Market Smoothie: Coconut milk, kale, romaine, spinach, celery, apple, ginger, cucumber, parsley, lemon, and lime
- Sweet Greens Smoothie: Coconut milk, pineapple, apple, spinach, romaine, kale, celery, ginger, cucumber, parsley, lemon, lime

Pret a Manger
- Moroccan lentil soup: A bold soup packed with hearty lentils and chunky vegetables, with a handful of spices and a dash of balsamic vinegar to create an authentic Moroccan
- Black bean soup
- Mediterranean Mezze Salad: A colorful salad loaded with falafel, butternut squash, harissa chickpeas, beet hummus, dukkah, pomegranate seeds and fresh mint
- Veggie Fiesta Salad: Black beans, charred corn, jicama & zucchini slaw, cubed pepper jack, avocado, pickled red onions, cilantro & lime over a bed of romaine and spinach

- Superfood Soup: Vegetable broth, quinoa, kale, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, red onions
- Salad/Bowl: Spinach, kale, almonds, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, mushrooms, roasted peppers, sesame seeds, beet slaw

Left Coast Food and Juice
- Jimmy Ching: Napa cabbage, romaine hearts, snow peas, crunchy quinoa, cashews, green onion, mint, sesame seeds, chinese mustard vinaigrette
- Robust Rosa: Kale, spinach, roasted broccoli, red onion, roasted tomato, toasted hemp seeds, avocado caesar dressing

True Food Kitchen
- Charred Cauliflower: Harissa tahini, Medjool date, dill, mint, pistachio
- Seasonal Ingredient Salad: Brussels sprout, butternut squash, cauliflower, white bean, pomegranate, toasted mulberry, horseradish vinaigrette
- Ancient Grains Bowl: Miso-glazed sweet potato, turmeric, charred onion, snow pea, grilled portobello, avocado, hemp seed

Sweet Green
- Spicy Sabzi: Organic baby spinach, shredded kale, spicy broccoli, raw beets, organic carrots, bean sprouts, spicy quinoa, basil, Sweet Green hot sauce, carrot chili vinaigrette (ask for no roasted sesame tofu)
- Bowl (build your own): Organic mesclun, bean sprouts, spicy broccoli, hot chickpeas, toasted almonds, local apples, lime cilantro jalapeño vinaigrette
- Bowl (build your own): Organic arugula, basil, shredded cabbage, raw beets, toasted almonds, spicy sunflower seeds, carrot chili vinaigrette

Caffe Baci
- Grain Salad: Organic kale & spinach, citrus marinated northern beans, tri-colored quinoa, pickled red onion, toasted sunflower seeds, citrus vinaigrette on the side
- Grilled Vegetable Salad: Native, grilled seasonal vegetables, balsamic vinaigrette
- Tomato Salad: Fresh vine tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, fresh basil, red wine vinaigrette, Italian spice blend

Meal Services


Photo Credit:
Purple Carrot .com – Could this be the snack that helps you lose weight and satisfy your hunger on-the-go?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
37 Snack Ideas for Weight Loss (And You Won’t Be Bored)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

"65% Of Dieters Lose Weight When They Eat This For Breakfast" Review

I nearly spit out my coffee when I saw the image for this article this morning. Are they inferring that this breakfast will lead to weight loss? Read to learn their reasons why they think so (from the article " 65% Of Dieters Lose Weight When They Eat This For Breakfast ").

What's missing?

When you're wanting to lose weight, breakfast always feels like the best place to start reexamining your diet. After all, if you adequately fill up in the morning, you're way less likely to feel peckish at your desk by 11 a.m. and start reaching for whatever's within arm's reach.

The single food countless nutritionists recommend eating? Eggs. With six grams of protein a pop, eggs will fill you up - and keep you satisfied, which is key - without weighing you down. One study published in the International Journey of Obesity shows that men and women who ate two eggs for breakfast (as part of a reduced-calorie plan) lost a whopping 65 percent more weight than those who ate a bagel breakfast of equal calories. What's more, the egg eaters also felt more energetic.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Alright readers…what are the questions that you need to ask before accepting eggs as the weight loss miracle? Here you go:

Where was the study conducted? Were the participants people or animals? How many participants? How do you define this population (i.e. age, gender, region, medical history, etc.)? Were they reflective of the general population? How were the participants’ general diets controlled? Could other changes in the participants’ diets skew these results? Does this study indicate that the participants had a protein deficiency? Did participants lack energy before this study because of this nutritional deficiency? Will the consumption of eggs lead to an increase in energy? Would the participants experience the same results with a plant-based alternative (with the same number of protein grams)? How were the eggs prepared? Participants ate the eggs as part of a reduced calorie plan. No matter the change in foods, would the same participants lose weight because of this calorie reduction?

The Yolk

And if you're one of those people who still thinks it's necessary to order an egg white omelette to stay on track, nutritionists are urging you to eat the yolks: They can, in fact, contribute to weight loss and help increase good HDL cholesterol levels, while being a solid source of nutrients like vitamin B12 and choline (essential for your cells to function properly). So skip the bowl of multigrain cereal and get yolked.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: If you eat animal, you should definitely choose the most nutrient dense options. Outside of fish, I would recommend eggs...with yolks. If you're worried about cholesterol, maybe it's time to cut out the shrimp, steaks, and dairy you're eating during your other meals. I'd like to know why the article's nutritionists claim that egg yolks will help you lose weight, though. Based on our questions above, what do you think? The author mentioned the nutritionists to add credibility to this claim but failed to provide a clear, scientific reason. Continue your research before accepting these results.

Photo Credit: - Will adding eggs to this breakfast plate be the weight loss answer? This photo seems to infer that a simple substitute of eggs for your normal simple carb choice will lead to weight loss. Is this still possible with pancakes, bacon, toast, and a creamy coffee? My educated guess is that any change will be minimal, if at all. Careful with what is being sold here.

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " 65% Of Dieters Lose Weight When They Eat This For Breakfast " on
"65% Of Dieters Lose Weight When They Eat This For Breakfast" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

"How Your Food Can Minimize Pain, Fatigue, and More" Review

It's amazing how easily we overlook the hidden powers of your plate. If you're looking to curb pain, fatigue, and more, the real answer lies in front of you (from the nutrition article "How Your Food Can Minimize Pain, Fatigue, and More").

“You’re Not You When You’re Hungry.”

So goes the famous advertising campaign which portrayed Snickers candy as a “bar of substance” that could change Betty White into a healthy 20-something man playing football with his friends. It was an ad that catapulted Snickers sales sky high with a simple message: When you’re hungry, you aren’t yourself.

While the candy bar may not be the energy-sustainer it’s claimed to be in commercials; the message rings true for nutrition. Our bodies and moods are affected when we don’t eat or when we make bad food choices. A classic example (and the one that Snickers feeds into) is skipping meals. When you miss meals, your blood sugar slumps and your mood falls right along with it. Studies have shown that a healthy breakfast really should be considered the most important meal of the day, as it helps people of all ages fuel themselves for the day, and helps enable them to make healthy choices all day long. But with busy lifestyles, it’s no wonder many of us skip breakfast completely, or eat something devoid of nutrition (like donuts) on the go. But a processed breakfast won’t cut it if we want to reap nutritional benefits.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: A nutritional breakfast may not completely fuel your day but it will provide the necessary fuel that you will need until your next meal. No doubt about it – our body is equipped with the peripheral system to handle a deficiency. It doesn't mean it will operate most effectively or efficiently while operating under those constant conditions though. Eat a breakfast with the vitamins, phytonutrients, fiber, and protein that your body needs. Save the donuts for a treat (not a meal).

Minimize Pain, Inflammation, and More

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic note that a healthy diet for everyone should include fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Furthermore, people suffering from pain should avoid foods that exacerbate inflammation. Inflammation leads to pain and is the body’s response to foods like refined sugar, processed flour, cereals, white rice, potatoes, and red meats. Eliminating these foods from your diet can help if you suffer from chronic pain. Certain foods also have analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. Adding colorful fruits and vegetables supplies your body with rich vitamins and omega-3s to regulate pain.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Whether you routinely endure bouts of gout or experience chronic pain, the answer to your relief may lie on your plate. Not only do you want to incorporate the appropriate nutritional ratio for your body to operate efficiently, but you also want to avoid the big inflammatory six: dairy, alcohol, grains, red meats, processed foods, and refined sugars. While this list will depress any Midwestern resident, it shouldn't be ignored. If you're not prepared to go "all in," you may want to see what you can get away with by removing a little of each from your diet.

Nutrition and Depression

Body chemistry is also important when it comes to the treatment of depression. We typically think of depression as an emotional issue, but what goes into our bodies matters. In addition to emotional triggers, psychological triggers, and biochemical imbalances, nutritional deficiency can contribute to depression. Lack of amino acids, omega 3s, and vitamin D play a role. Understanding blood sugar and food intolerance are also important, and increasing intake of specific vitamins and nutrients can be a big factor in treating depression.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: The connection between the mind and body extends beyond a meditation session on a pier in Guatemala. Any deficiency or improper nutrition will affect all aspects of your health (including your mental and emotional health).

A Broken Record Worth Listening To

If this is starting to sound like a broken record, that’s because the message is consistent: Managing blood sugar, reducing processed foods, and increasing intake of colorful vegetables and fruits are effective strategies in managing health. But could nutrition even help with drug and alcohol rehabilitation? As a matter of fact, it can play a huge role in addiction recovery. Drug and alcohol use is often coupled with bad nutritional habits that vary depending on the class of substance; for marijuana users, obesity may be an issue, while stimulant users may be severely underweight. In any case, good nutritional habits can reduce withdrawal symptoms, repair damaged cells, and reduce the risk of relapse. That’s because proper nutrition helps deter exhaustion or mood issues that may lead to using again. It is also an important part of how your body naturally detoxes and can reduce the discomfort of withdrawal.

It is amazing how a diet rich in vitamins, protein, and complex carbohydrates not only improves weight but can also reduce or eradicate the symptoms of illness and disease. A healthy diet can be preventative, but also curative.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: When your basic needs for survival are met, you will have the strength, energy, and focus to participate effectively and efficiently in the world. Make your nutrition a priority. It is the foundation of your physical, mental, and emotional self.

- "Behind the Snickers Campaign That Launched a Global Comeback " AdAge Oct. 04, 2013
- "Food and Mood: 6 Ways Your Diet Affects How You Feel" US News Aug. 31 2011
- "8 Classic Overnight Oats Recipes You Should Try" Wholefully
- "Nutrition and pain" Mayo Clinic Jul. 26, 2016
- "Depression" Nutrition and pain
- "How Nutrition in Addiction Treatment Speeds Recovery" Oct. 10, 2015


Photo Credit: Does a Snickers bar really provide the energy you need?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from Learn Fit.
"How Your Food Can Minimize Pain, Fatigue, and More" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.