5 Tips to Keep the Holiday Stress in Check

There is plenty of evidence that the holiday’s cause us stress, which has a ripple effect to our health, wealth, relationships and more.  Check out these stats:

Holiday Stress

Oregon Womens Report Survey, 2009

So, how do you alleviate or give pause to these worries, especially during the holiday season?

Here are 5 tips to get you through:

1. Proper nutrition – everything in moderation (even moderation).  Energy to carry you through your shopping marathons is going to come from what you eat.  In the movie ‘Elf’ with Will Ferrell, he mentions that the 4 main food groups that all elf’s eat are sugar, more sugar, some more sugar, and maple syrup. Hilarious, but unfortunately most of us go for the sugar aka carbs. Keep to a well balanced plate for each meal, which includes, a protein source, greens, a carbohydrate source, and healthy fat. You need your energy through long days of shopping, fun (or even work).  Overeat + Exhaustion = bad Santa.  Healthy eating of greens, proteins, fewer carbs, good fats = A Star, a star shining in the night.  Okay, so I know I am being corny, but focus on how nice it will feel to feel good.

2. Workout/Exercise – I know you are busier than ever at this time of year, but moving that body and pumping that heart will release endorphins that will help you feel amazing, alert, and ready to keep going. PS, after the Christmas feast…take a walk, even if it is around your house, a little walk for a few minutes is shown to reduce cravings!

3. Mindset Management – This is key….before you step into the rat race at the mall or the chaos at home, decide how you mentally want to be; such as patient, happy, fun, loving.  Creating this optimistic perspective, ahead of time, can make your holidays much more tolerable. This is a stretch… but decide to love that person who butts in the shopping line or the clerk who is a bit slow.  Sing Jingle Bells in your head…. why not!

4. Engage Your Team – Most of us are not so fortunate as to have elves and reindeer, but you do have those around you who care about your well-being as much as you care about theirs.  The holidays can bring challenges, but they can also bring priceless moments with your friends and family.  Decide on activities to do together since you are all there together.  Create a fun activity like building a snowman, taking a beach walk, meeting up and watching the big game, or going outside and tossing the ball.  Be deliberate about this and it will impact the entire holiday experience.  I promise!

5. Relax – what do you need to do for you?  Remember, this is your time off from the office, so sit back and relax and smile. Yes, even have Santa’s cookie and milk, but it would be best if it is gluten and dairy free…

Now, before you head off to the party, I put together The FIT Kit just for you.  A simple little package that includes 3 10 minute workout, meal suggestions, and 3 motivation audios to keep your mind in the right place.  Click here for  the F.I.T. Kit  Enjoy!

Just be good for goodness’ sake.

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4 Steps to Mentally Prepare You for the Holiday

If you have not at one time or another been stressed over the holidays…well, bless you and share your secret with me!  There is always much to do at this time of year like parties, shopping, traveling, ‘surviving’ family, and eating too much.  Yet, I want to remind you of the real reason for the season and the opportunity to enjoy it more and more.

My gift for you, 4 steps to mentally prepare you for the holidays:

1.     Have a plan of action.  It helps you to put aside worry when you have a plan in place.  Know what you need to do by when, and seek help when you need it to get all done.  Write it out.  Create your checklist of naughty and nice. ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’ – Benjamin Franklin.

2.     Personal Time Out.  Always in a rush to get from one place to the next or take care of this then go get that.  Take a moment of quiet…your own private Silent Night…and just inhale the goodness around you. Make a stop at the park, beach, or just sit outside your home, breath, relax, and reflect for a second.

3.     Set Goals Before New Years.  Be excited about thinking what you want to have, what you want to achieve. Set your New Year goals earlier than New Year’s Eve – before Christmas!  Makes stepping into the new years easier to do when you have something specific to look forward to achieving.  Set long term goals, short term goals, and have REWARDS when you reach your goals. Once you have these goals clear, put them aside until the new year and set your sights on just being present during all the presence of Christmas.  It after all, is a most beautiful time of year.

4.     Win the Small Victories. Weekly or even daily, we face decisions that leave us either feeling guilty or feeling accomplished. Decide how you will choose to feel about every situation you are a part of; such as when your friends offer you foods you know are not good for you or skipping meals because you are too busy.  You will have both WINS and LOSES.  Focus on the winning these small victories each week, because they add up making you feel and look great!

When you have a plan and the tools ready to go when you pull the trigger, it brings you a peace of mind.  When you don’t have a plan, anxiety kicks in each time you eat that extra piece of pie or skip out on your exercise.  I want you to enjoy your holiday’s.  Get your plan together together today.  Perhaps one of our on line programs is right for you or take advantage of our personal training options. Tis the season, so put your plan in place NOW, so you can spread your holiday cheer (and also not your waist line….visit www.Koolbody.com for some tips on that front!)

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Is Going Organic Enough … Hidden Kitchen Toxins To Avoid

If you have decided to spend a little extra money and buy organic food, then chances are you want to avoid consuming harmful toxins, such as pesticides.  You have made a wise choice!  But there is more you need to know.

Our cultivation and production methods not only includes potential toxins within our foods but also in our food containers or other household products.  Consuming foods that have been placed in harmful containers or inhaling the gases emitted by certain products can do just as much damage to our bodies as eating non organic foods. Let’s identify what these hidden harmful chemicals are and some very common household products they lurk in.  Jillian Michaels article, “Banish the Toxins” takes a close look at the top 4 products to avoid, as summarized below:

  • Bisphenol A (BPA): found in food or beverage containers such as water bottles and drinking cans. Consuming foods or liquids from such containers may increase your risk of breast and prostate cancers, infertility, lead to type 2 diabetes. You should consume from glass or stainless steel products.
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs): chlorinated chemicals found in electrical equipment that have since leaked into our environment and contaminated farmed and some fresh water fish. Check out Monterey Bay Aquarium’s list of safe fish.
  • Volatile oranic compounds (VOCs): gasses coming from paints, plastics, cleansers, air fresheners, dryer sheets. You may feel sore throats, headaches, dizziness. Over time, may lead to cancer. Go all natural with your cleaning products such as baking soda, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide.
  • Chlorinated products: Is it white? Then is was probably chlorinated. Products include paper towels, paper napkins, white coffee filters, artificial sweeteners.  Choose products labeled chlorine-free and avoid these carcinogenics.

I’ll be honest, it is expensive to be healthy. So, it comes down to a choice, spend your money on being healthy or potential medical bills. Health is from the inside out.  Create an environment to have the right foods from the right places.  Allow your body to grow healthier every day.

Scott Elliott

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Bloating from your Healthy Eating getting you Frustrated!

Imagine that you are being so diligent with your healthy eating. You plan your meals, your food combinations are perfect; you are basically following exactly what I talk about in my blog “Burn that Belly Fat”. You are feeling SO GOOD except for one small exception …  your stomach bloats every time you eat.

AHHHH! You begin to get frustrated and wonder to yourself, “What’s going on?” You can’t see those tight abs you have been working so hard for because of your gassy, bloaty belly. You begin to look at your eating journal and see your oatmeal, eggs, broccoli, cabbage, an occasional coffee.  Sounds pretty healthy… right?

What exactly is going on when you bloat? The article, “Gas: Beat the Bloating” by Natalie Egan of Brigham and Womens Hospital; mentions your colon contains bacteria and fungi that break down foods, especially hard to digest carbohydrates. It is the fermentation of these hard to digest foods that cause the gas; some of which foods may be difficult to digest due to lack of the right enzymes.  A good example of this is diary products if you are lactose intolerant, of which, you are missing the enzyme lactase.

Common foods that cause bloating, according to the article “Foods to Avoid if you Have Ulcerative Colis” by Amanda MacMillan of Health.com:

  • Carbonated beverages
  • Spicy, fried or fatty foods
  • Broccoli, cabbage, onions
  • Beans
  • Apple or prune juice
  • Dried fruits
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Dairy
  • Whole seeds, especially the tiny ones in fruits like strawberries
  • Fatty meats
  • Alcohol, white wine being better for your belly then red wine

Last thing you want to do is avoid eating some of these foods. Never eating broccoli is not a good idea. So follow these steps:

  • Don’t eat so fast
  • Drink your beverages at room temperature
  • Exercise
  • Sit up straight after your meals
  • Take a walk after eating

Finally, if your bloating persists, do some research on over the counter products such as “Beanos” which are enzymes to help break down certain types of foods. Depending on the severity, go visit your doctor, as your may have a condition such as Ulcerative Colis.

Bloating is not fun and it always occurs at awkward moments. Try these tips and rid that bloat so you can show off those tight abs once again!

Scott Elliott

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CALORIES and THE WEIGHT SCALE are my enemies!

As a personal trainer, I have decided to focus on WEIGHT LOSS and MUSCLE GAIN programs.  To see someone physically change before my eyes is such an amazing feeling for me, I don’t know how to put it into words. I have trained house moms, the busy professional, and athletes.  As you can imagine, each group has very different lifestyles, but they all have one thing in common; what the weight scale says and counting calories are very important TO THEM, but NOT to me.  Actually, let me refrain what I said. Calories and the scale hold some relevance. I consider the information I get from the amount of calories in a meal plan or the information I see from the scale nothing more then just a piece to the rest of the picture.

What is important to me is WHERE THESE CALORIES are coming from. Let’s say I want to lose weight and I put myself onto a 1200 calorie plan. Is this good? Depends on how big of a person you are, how active you are, and where you are getting your calories from.  How about I put you on a 1000 calorie diet.  Does this mean you can eat 1000 cal of doughnuts? Of course not.  Also, consider that your body needs enough fuel to function and when it doesn’t get it, your metabolism slows down.

Oh and that dreaded scale. Here’s a quick story, I had a gentleman go through an 8 week program. At the end, the scale DID NOT CHANGE! He was pissed. In reality, he lost 10 lbs of FAT and gained 10 lbs of muscle. He looked so different, his clothes were so loose, people were given him compliments every day; but because of the number on the scale, he did not see it.

Make sure your trainer takes your BODY FAT readings. This calculation will determine how much FAT and how much MUSCLE your body has. These numbers are excellent to use in determining your goals. For example, you can now declare you want to gain 5 lbs of muscle and lose 15 lbs of fat. Now, that’s a good solid goal that NO WEIGHT SCALE could ever tell you.

If you are looking for a fitness/nutrition program; check out some of my TAKE HOME FITNESS/NUTRITION BOOKS. These are 12 week programs all written out for you. All you gotta do is go the gym. http://www.koolbody.com

-Scott Elliott

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Burn That Belly Fat

A popular saying is “abs are made in the kitchen”.  This is so true! No matter how many ab exercises you do, that belly fat just wont let go. So you are left with one strong tummy … that no one can see. Not good!
I like to motivate those I train by telling them; “no matter how good those legs look, no matter how strong those arms are getting, no matter how tight that butt is; the first place people judge you on is your tummy.” So, listen up. What I have to say will make the difference between having A FLAT BELLY or not!

Nutrition is 70% of your success, exercise is 20%, mindset is 10%.  Basically, without a good nutrition plan, your body will have a difficult time responding to the hard work you put in at the gym. A couple things I will look at are food combinations, processed foods, and stored fat.

1) Food Combinations. Your body takes nutrients from several different types of foods to function properly. Combine a protein as your entree, a starchy carbohydrate, vegetables, and healthy fat source to each meal.
2) Processed Foods. A processed food is defined as something that is man altered. For example, a white loaf of bread did not come from the ground; man created that. Although it was made with wheat and water; it was altered from its original state of being. A better source of whole food would be whole grain oatmeal, ezekial bread, and sweet potatoes, to name a few.
3) Stored Fat. If your body takes in food that it does not recognize, such as processed bread, then the food will be stored away in that belly or butt, maybe your hips. Once food is stored, good luck getting it back out.
4) Eat 5 or 6 times a day; 3 main meals and 2 small snacks each with healthy food combinations, to give your metabolism reason to speed up.

If you want more suggestions on a healthy food plan for weight loss or muscle gain, visit the website for a FREE nutrition plan:

Bon Apetit’

Scott Elliott

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The 40 Day Challenge Program Design

The 40 DAY CHALLENGE is a program created to MOTIVATE.

The 40 Day Challenge is a 3 step nutrition program and a 3 step exercise program.  The final ingredient is creating a strong mindset to motivate you and keeping that motivation strong through the next 40 days.

Now, let’s be honest, you may receive all the tools necessary for success, what exercises to do and what foods to eat; but without having a POWERFUL MINDSET, you are not going anywhere!  Imagine sitting in the driver seat of a Lamborghini, the engine is revving, the gas tank is full, and there is no one on the road.  The light turns GREEN … and you just sit there!  No screeching tires, no wind blowing through your hair, nothing! WHY? Because you have no where to go and no reason to get there. Do you have a gym membership …  and do you use it?  Do you own any workout videos … and have you completed them?

You are the first person to let yourself down.  If you make a promise to yourself, and you don’t complete it, what happens? Probably nothing. BUT what if you make a promise to others? What if a bunch of people you know and don’t know are keeping tabs on you finish this? You are definitely less likely to let them down.  Right?

Whether you are in California or as far as Hong Kong, you may participate in this program.  Select the program that is best for you:
• The 8 Week Body Make Over Classes (San Diego)
• 1 to 1 Private Fitness Training (San Diego and Orange County)
• The Take Home Nutrition & Exercise Book (any where)

• Submit your before and after pictures to selliott@koolbody.com. A picture say’s a thousand words.
• Measurements every week (the program packet describes which measurements)

• Post on Facebook or twitter at least once a week about your journey through the 40 days.
• Read what others are posting and let them read what you have to say.  You will be AMAZED of
how you become an inspiration to people you know or don’t know simply by talking about your

The beauty of this challenge is you hear from the participants perspective, through facebook or twitter, of what is really going on in their head. You will hear about how they deal with lack of time, keeping to an eating plan, how they feel saying NO to the cocktails, and most important WHY they stick to it … OR DO THEY?

Many people will follow your journey through your posts. I will be providing, as well as, other participants, some exercise tips, nutrition guide lines, recipes, and insights to a successful mindset.  In the world of fitness, it is us who become the biggest saboteurs to our own success. Throughout this journey, not only learn what others are doing to succeed, but how they think to get past the ups and downs of every day training.

The TRUTH is not everyone will finish this. The TRUTH is you will have good days and not so good days. The TRUTH is this is not a commercial where everything turns out all right if you just take this “pill”.  The TRUTH is if you can complete 40 days with absolute commitment to the program, you WILL achieve way more then your weight loss or muscle gain goals.
The TRUTH is you are either really excited or really scared.

IT’S TIME TO FIND THE REAL YOU. Select a program, receive your 40 DAY CHALLENGE PACKET, and let’s get started!

Scott Elliott

Kool Body Training

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