Fitness, to Some, is the “F” Word

This article is such an important share.  It was written by my mentor, coach and esteemed friend, Dr. Jack Barnathan.  Dr. Jack, (as his friends call him),  is a board member of the Magic Happens Foundation and has served legends of pro & Olympic sport.  He continues to lead and consult with those interested in creating and sharing their unique gifts with the world.  His list of credentials is impressive.  What truly sets Dr. Jack apart is his cutting edge insights, innovations and information that create a high ground experience that focuses on individual strengths and proven strategies.


Fitness, to some, is the “F” word.
by Dr. Jack Barnathan

Fitness, to some, is the “F” word.

And sadly, for good reasons.

Too often it’s FRUSTRATING

It is such a broad term and it can mean an evening hike after work (one of my favorites) or heavy lifting of weights in a gym (my favorite a decade or so ago) or rock climbing, or … almost anything.

And that’s where the confusion comes in.

What is Fitness?

As a doctor, and someone who taught certifications for a college that offered live certification classes for many years, I’m also confused.

My philosophy has always been that “Fitness activities” are very personal, and should be. There are no cookie cutter formulas that are “one size fits all” when it comes to fitness.

And the benefits for all, especially for preventing many illnesses or as a tool (with your doctors exam, advice and consent) for individuals to speed healing when they are recovering from treatment such as for cancer.

And because of this “confusion” I now use the term “physical activity” or, encourage people to find their “physical style.”

Something you can express from within. Something that fits your physical goals, health needs, protects you with safety FIRST and foremost, and, feeds your soul.

I will discuss elsewhere the many studies that exist proving the intense benefits of body, mind and spirit all found within that walk. Or Tai Chi. Or yoga. Or… whatever fits your physical style.

Give it a thought. It’s something you probably wanted to “express” or at least explore.

There are many great individuals, and organizations you can do this with. is one that supports those going through cancer treatment with similar activities.

You have goals for body and spirit. Make sure you find the support you deserve in that journey. The results could be dramatic, and life long.

S-T-R-E-T-C-H Yourself



Take stretch breaks often, throughout the day.

–Increases blood flow to the muscle
–Maintains flexibility
–Helps decrease risk of injury
–Invigorates and refreshes
–Helps you to maintain mobility with less pain
–Reduces stress and cortisol levels
–Helps create better posture

Aging Gracefully

Photography credit: Tracy Sheppard of Studio Soleil


Aging gracefully

Aging is inevitable, and “Old age,” as Bette Davis once said, “is no place for sissies.” Much of the way we age has to do with our genetics and the way our parents and grandparents aged.

These factors cannot be controlled. But there are proactive steps we can take that can make a big difference.

What we eat. Yes, nutrition matters. Sugars, unhealthy fats and carbohydrate heavy diets age our skin. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts, salmon, and flaxseed, help our skin manufacture the essential oils it needs to protect itself and maintain a youthful appearance.

Sleep. Beauty sleep is real. During sleep, our body releases a growth hormone that helps restore collagen and elastin, the essential building blocks of young, healthy skin.

How much we eat. Overeating creates a host of unhealthy scenarios in our body. Learn to stop when satiated and full.

Exercise. Literally, the fountain of youth. Maintaining muscle mass, as well as strength, can keep us independent and reduces the risk of dementia. Exercise strengthens the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with learning and mental focus.

Skin protection. Sunscreen. After only a few moments in the sun, our skins stops making essential vitamin D, and begins to make skin cancer. Protect the largest organ on our body; our skin.

Get social. Maintaining a close circle of friends and family is essential to aging well.

Think positive. I can’t say enough about this one. We truly are what we think. Spend time using positive aspirations, and engaging in positive activities. Negativity drains the life out of us!

Aging with class, grace and beauty starts within, and radiates outward.


Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams!


Foods that promote a good nights sleep


–Whole Grain Bread
–Whole Grain Pasta
–Whole Grain Cereals (Steel Cut Oats, Old-Fashioned Oats)
–Brown Rice
–AVOID Simple Carbohydrates, such as white bread, sugary treats, cookies, pastry, white pasta or crackers which tend to reduce serotonin levels and do not promote a good night’s sleep.


–Low fat cheese
–AVOID high-fat cheese, deep fried anything, chicken wings.
–Lean proteins are high in the amino acid, tryptophan, which tend to increase serotonin levels. Fatty foods are just the opposite, and tend to take longer to digest, keeping you awake.


–Natural, no sugar added Peanut Butter
–Natural, raw Nut Butters
–Raw, unsalted Nuts (almonds, pistachios, walnuts)
–AVOID highly processed foods which are high in fat (snack chips, potato chips, french fries or other high fat foods, which will decrease serotonin levels.


–Herbal Teas (peppermint or chamomile)
–Warm milk
–AVOID anything caffeinated after 2 pm.


–These herbs contain chemicals that can reduce tension and promote sleep
–AVOID red pepper, black pepper or anything too ‘spicy’ as they tend to have a stimulatory effect.


–Low fat, plain yogurt
–String Cheese (low fat mozzarella)
–Low fat cottage cheese
–Peanut Butter smear on 100% whole grain crackers
–Pita Chips (100% whole grain, only)

Sweet Dreams!

#foodfirst #highground #sleep #goodnight #sleepwell #healthybody
#selfcare #naturalbeauty #antiaging #rest

source: Cleveland Clinic

20 Ways to Love Your Body

It’s our responsibility to take care of ourselves! We can’t serve others from an empty vessel!

I do not honestly believe that people intentionally mistreat their bodies….It’s simply a lack of knowledge as to what to do to take better care of themselves.

It’s not radical…It’s not about dieting. It’s about making better choices and living thoughtfully!



20 Ways to Love Your Body

Compiled By: Margo Maine, PhD

1. Think of your body as the vehicle to your dreams. Honor it. Respect it. Fuel it.

2. Create a list of all the things your body lets you do. Read it and add to it often.

3. Become aware of what your body can do each day. Remember it is the instrument of your life, not just an ornament.

4. Create a list of people you admire: people who have contributed to your life, your community, or the world. Consider whether their appearance was important to their success and accomplishments.

5.Walk with your head held high, supported by pride and confidence in yourself as a person.

6. Don’t let your weight or shape keep you from activities that you enjoy.

7. Wear comfortable clothes that you like, that express your personal style, and that feel good to your body.

8. Count your blessings, not your blemishes.

9. Think about all the things you could accomplish with the time and energy you currently spend worrying about your body and appearance. Try one!

10. Be your body’s friend and supporter, not its enemy.

11. Consider this: your skin replaces itself once a month, your stomach lining every five days, your liver every six weeks, and your skeleton every three months. Your body is extraordinary—begin to respect and appreciate it.

12. Every morning when you wake up, thank your body for resting and rejuvenating itself so you can enjoy the day.

13. Every evening when you go to bed, tell your body how much you appreciate what it has allowed you to do throughout the day.

14. Find a method of exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. Don’t exercise to lose weight or to fight your body. Do it to make your body healthy and strong and because it makes you feel good.
Exercise for the Three F’s: Fun, Fitness, and Friendship.

15. Think back to a time in your life when you felt good about your body. Loving your body means you get to feel like that again, even in this body, at this age.

16. Keep a list of 10 positive things about yourself—without mentioning your appearance. Add to it daily!

17. Put a sign on each of your mirrors saying, “I’m beautiful inside and out.”

18. Search for the beauty in the world and in yourself.

19. Consider that, “Life is too short to waste my time hating my body this way.”

20. Eat when you are hungry. Rest when you are tired. Surround yourself with people that remind you of your inner strength and beauty


Feeling Comfortable in Your Skin

Photography by Tracy Sheppard of Studio Soleil
Photography by Tracy Sheppard of Studio Soleil

I would love for everyone to give this brief video (link at the end)  a listen.

The ‘Positive Body Image’ movement is doing much in the way of helping women (and men) to rethink the way they look at their relationship with their bodies, as well as, the motivation behind wanting to make changes.

I personally applaud such movements, such as Girls Gone Strong, Girls on the Run (which I was involved with) and others. I can say that as a 62 old woman, the majority of my life has been spent wrestling with negative body image (it doesn’t really matter where this came from. It exists. Then. Now. Period). This began in my early teens. Do the math, if you like. It equates to years and years of being so focused on what I thought was wrong with myself, that I could NEVER concentrate on what was right with myself. I had so much insecurity that the talents that I was blessed with were overlooked. I believe this is the sad case of too many people.

I never felt I deserved to have a voice. Now I know differently. And I want that voice to help others.

I’ve exercised and practiced nutrition for many years now. The interest began in my 20’s and while I did not always eat consistently healthy in my early years, it was always something I found fascinating. Unfortunately, the motivation behind exercise and food was unhealthy. It was for the wrong reasons. The intentions were not driven by a healthy goal.

When you desire changes to be made in your exercise and the way you eat; please make these changes to create a more energetic, more vital YOU. Not because these changes will make you easier to love. Not because these changes will make you more beautiful. Not because these changes will make you love yourself.

You are already a marvelous creature! Make changes to add to what is already unique and wonderful about you.

“The intention behind a goal or behavior determines the health of that goal or behavior.”

Aging and Exercise

  • With respect to the aging process, what are some benefits derived from participation in regular physical activity?

Research shows that many of the physiological declines that are typically associated with the aging process can be reversed, or at least slowed down by engaging in regular physical activity. While exercise is not a magic pill or the proverbial Fountain of Youth; it is about as close to it as you can get.

Regular physical activity is well documented to help reduce the odds in developing heart disease, stroke, colon cancer, and diabetes. These are major reasons to develop a habit of regular exercise. There are also factors such as weight loss and control, keeping depression at bay and helping with feelings of anxiety, as well as, fostering improvements in mood and feelings of well-being. Regular exercise can boost one’s mood and feeling of self-confidence. Regular exercise can help reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension. Engaging in regular physical activity can help those with chronic, disabling conditions by improving stamina and muscle strength. Exercise can help keep the body flexible and stiff joints more pliable. Lack of exercise actually can make your joints even more painful and stiff. Keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong can be crucial to maintaining support for your bones. Not exercising weakens those supporting muscles, creating more stress on your joints. Certain regular exercise also helps with balance, which can enable a lifestyle of independence as well as promoting safety by reducing the risk of falling and performing routine daily tasks. Another benefit of regular physical activity is in how it aids brain function. Exercise is proven to change the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills. This is especially good news as the older we get, the more we may experience ‘brain fog’ and declining memory.

Exercise performed regularly improves physical appearance and when enjoyed in a group setting, provides a good social support. Regular physical activity is the key to staying strong, energetic, and healthy as you get older. If you find an activity you enjoy, it can even be fun. Exercise helps make life pleasurable and expands the quality of life.

by Terri L. Pouliot