Wealthy Health-Wise

keeping it small & simple

10 Reasons Why You Should be Practicing Tai Chi September 22, 2011

Filed under: Medicine — Kazi @ 11:54 pm
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Their doing it in the park
their doing it after dark
Tai Chi, Oh yeah

OK, so I got a little creative with the songs’ original lyrics. But you must admit, Tai Chi fits nicely into the Rock Creek Park chorus.

Tai Chi is a Chinese internal martial art. One of the many exercise forms that fall under the greater umbrella of what the Chinese call Chi Kung (or Qi Gong). These exercises are not reserved for the martial arts community. Tai Chi is practiced by people from all walks of life. Young and old, strong and frail, athletes and scholars. Everyone can benefit by adding a regular Tai Chi practice to their self-healing regimen.

Here are 10+ Reasons Why You Should be practicing Tai Chi.

1. Tai Chi is Safe, efficient and effective (SEE) – i have yet to hear of anyone being injured by participating in Tai Chi practice. The movements are slow and grounded. There is no dangerous equipment involved.

2. Efficient practicing Tai Chi for 20 minutes a day can have a tremendous positive effect upon your health, strength and flexibility. You get a substantial return on your energy/time investment.

3. Effective- unlike many of the new fad exercises and equipment popping up every other day on our televisions and internet, Tai Chi has been around for over a thousand years. First, only being handed down within Chinese family lineages. Tai Chi’s effectiveness as a health tonic has led to its spread throughout the known world. Many progressive health centers like the Mayo Clinic recommend Tai Chi to their patients and in many cases have an instructor on staff.

4. Tai Chi fosters stress resilience. In addition to the myo-facial workout, Tai Chi’s mental focus and breathing techniques teach you how to recognize and reduce stress within the mind-body continuum.

5. You can practice alone or in a group. Are you the solitary type? Do you like to really focus during your exercise? Or does a group atmosphere motivate you and allow you to meet new, like-minded friends? Well, either way you can find Tai Chi instruction that fits your preferences.

6. No additional equipment necessary. All you need it your able body, desire and an instructor. There are more advanced forms of Tai Chi that uses a sword as a practice weapon. But it will be some time before you are ready to tackle this level, if you choose.

7. Gets you outdoors. Tai Chi can be practiced anywhere, but you get the most benefit practicing in the outdoors. preferably in a natural setting. The fresh air (deep breathing is a crucial part of Tai Chi), the sunlight  (many Americans are significantly Vitamin D deficient) and the sounds of nature, add unparalleled healing elements to your Tai Chi practice.

8. Cost effective. Tai Chi is a choreographed movement. And so the key to learning it is practice, practice, practice. You can progress just fine attending 1 sessions per week. The rest of your practice is done on your own or with other classmates, in between sessions with your instructor.

9. Tai Chi practice creates body awareness. Practicing Tai Chi teaches you how to listen to your body. You will begin to notice how your body reacts to your movement and develop a greater awareness of your energy level through the day. The little changes in body function that would have previously gone unnoticed, will become more apparent. This is extremely helpful for western men, who have been raised to ignore pain and use our bodies to the edge of abuse, before seeking out the assistance of a healing professional.

10. No special fitness apparel required. As long as your regular clothing is not tight and allows you to move freely (you need to take some big steps, raise you arms high, pivot and twist at the hip), you will have no problem practicing on your lunch break and returning to you desk without a shower and change of cloths.

A more significant motivator should be how Tai Chi practice can benefit your health. Researchers have found that intensive Tai Chi practice shows some favorable effects on:

  • the promotion of balance control, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness
  • has shown to reduce the risk of falls in both healthy elderly patients, and those recovering from chronic stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attacks, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and fibromyalgia,.
  • Tai chi’s gentle, low impact movements burn more calories than surfing and nearly as many as downhill skiing.
  • reduced levels of LDL’s 20–26 milligrams when practiced for 12–14 weeks.
  • compared to regular stretching showed the ability to greatly reduce pain and improve overall physical and mental health in people over 60 with severe osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • A pilot study has found preliminary evidence that tai chi and related qigong may reduce the severity of diabetes.
  • In a randomized trial of 66 patients with fibromyalgia, the tai chi intervention group did significantly better in terms of pain, fatigue, sleeplessness and depression than a comparable group given stretching exercises and wellness education.
  • A systematic review funded in part by the U.S. government, of the current (as of 2010) studies on the effects of practicing Tai Chi found that, 1 hour to 1 year of regular Tai Chi significantly increased psychological well-being including reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhanced mood in community-dwelling healthy participants and in patients with chronic conditions. Seven observational studies with relatively large sample sizes reinforced the beneficial association between Tai Chi practice and psychological health.”

Now that you know what you’re missing:

Join The Medicine Movement – Fall Tai Chi Schedule

Fall Hiking Schedule


Blood Sugar Balancing Food Medicine November 29, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 3:46 pm

Hopefully by now you are aware that the best way to control your blood sugar to prevent and manage diabetes is though proper diet and exercise. Along with proper rest, hygiene and a positive mindset, these are your two primary physicians for maintaining good health.

But even when making sure to avoid the foods that upset your blood sugar and eating balanced meals, you may still come up short on key nutrients that our bodies need.

Due to poor soil quality, food processing and our own lack of commitment to eating properly, we don’t always get the nutrients we need in our diets. And so it helps to supplement our diet with concentrated forms of the nutrients that we may be lacking.

If you have a genetic pre-disposition (one of more diabetic family members) towards diabetes, I recommend rotating the following supplements on a regular basis to improve your blood sugar metabolism.

Bitter Melon: long been used in South America, the Caribbean, East Africa and Asia as food and a natural medicine. And scientific studies prove its value for treating blood-sugar problems.

Often used in stir-fry dishes. Cut the melon open lengthwise without peeling. Then remove the seeds and the white “pith” inside, and chop it like you would a green pepper. Boil the melon until the pieces are tender, and add them to your favorite stir-fry recipe.

Gumar (Gymnema Sylvestre), which literally means “sugar destroyer” in Hindi interferes with your ability to taste sweetness. The herb decreases the sensation of sweetness in many foods, and may reduce your cravings for sugary snacks.

Used by practitioners of Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years, Fenugreek is an herb native to the Mediterranean, Ukraine, India and China.
Fenugreek seed stimulates insulin release. This helps food sugars reach your cells properly.

Don’t bite into a fenugreek seed, they are very bitter. Roast them in a pan for a minute or two, without burning them, to give them a caramel-like taste. Then you can add them to other spices for a complex mix of flavor. You can also steep one or two teaspoons of the dried leaves in two cups of boiling water for five minutes to make a healing tea.

Chromium aids in digestion and helps move blood glucose from the bloodstream into the cells for energy. It also helps turn fats, carbohydrates and proteins into energy. As a critical nutrient for healthy insulin function. Without enough chromium in your body, insulin just doesn’t work properly.

You can get chromium in many foods including brewer’s yeast, meats, potatoes (especially in the skin), cheeses, molasses, whole-grain breads and cereals, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

It is estimated that 90 percent of American adults have a chromium-deficient diet. No wonder blood-sugar imbalances are rampant in America.

Cinnamon: Researchers have discovered that cinnamon contains a compound called methylhydroxy chalcone polymer, or MHCP that increases your glucose metabolism. It works with insulin to help process glucose.

To control blood sugar with cinnamon use around half a teaspoon before meals.

In Traditional, Philippine, South Asian and Indian societies, people use a brewed Banaba Leaf tea to help regulate blood sugar.
Corosolic acid, a natural compound extracted from its leaves, mimics insulin by moving sugar out of your bloodstream and into your cells.

Add these supplemental power foods to your healing arsenal and share them with your family and friends. Your spleen will thank you.


Who Wants To Be Anointed With Oil? October 29, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 6:00 am
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How many of you remember the daily struggle with your mother to escape (unsuccessfully) gulping down the contents of “the big greasy spoon.” Cod Liver Oil, blah!

I can not remember ever actually getting away unscathed by the nastiest taste in the entire universe. Not once. Even when I literally vomited the contents of the spoon, along with everything that preceded it. She would force me to take down another.

I have a deep suspicion that this all goes back to the childhood of Jesus. C’mon now, the whole thing with him being “the anointed”. Telling his followers he would make them “fishers of men”.  And why do modern Christians all have a symbol of two fishes on their rear bumpers.

It can’t all be a coincidence. I think Mary was force feeding the baby Jesus cod liver oil way back then.  Ever since, mothers have been giving their children fish oil to protect them from evil spirits, disease, sorcery and bad dreams.  I mean think about it, isn’t Mary the ideal mother?  Ok, enough ‘light humor’.

Eating fish has long been considered a healthy choice for the body. The oils contained in fish are rich in substances that the body needs to maintain itself.

And Cod Liver Oil is an old favorite, that has made a resurgence now that alternative medicine has gone mainstream. Consuming fish oil as a dietary supplement is a sure way to to get more omega-3 fatty acids into your system. Omega-3s are examples of healthy oils that help with brain and heart function.

If you like fish, you can eat cold water fish once or twice a week to increase your healthy fat intake.

Cod liver oil is obtained from the livers of cod. Unlike eating cooked fish, the levels of mercury in them are nil because the purification process (look for products using molecular distillation with food grade ethanol) eliminates this harmful element.

Cod liver supplements differ from some others in that it not only contains omega-3 fatty acids but also a healthy dose of vitamin A and D. (Pregnant mothers are advised to avoid vitamin A supplements).

Sedentary types, shut-ins and the bed ridden may find it difficult to receive adequate amounts of vitamin D, since our major source is the sun. The increased use of sun block and sunscreen also decreases the absorption of vitamin D through the skin. This vitamin plays a vital role in the utilization of calcium by the body.

Ways this old preventive medicine can do a body good:

  • Depression – Cod liver oil reduces the incidence of depression.
  • Vitamin D levels – Since it increases the level of vitamin D, it leads to healthier and stronger bones and teeth when taking this supplement. Women, who are susceptible to osteoporosis, increase their bone and mineral density.
  • Heart and brain health – It reduces inflammation in the body and increases vascular integrity and integrity of nerve cells.
  • Disease prevention – Taking cod liver oil supplements may decrease the incidence of high LDL cholesterol levels, improve memory, prevent heart disease, reduce menopausal symptoms, reduce severity of PMS symptoms and also reduce incidence of diabetes type 1 in children.

Just like with any other over-the-counter supplement, it is important to first make sure you are eating complete meals that provide you with all of the nutrients that nature has to offer. Supplements are just that- supplemental.

Their purpose is not to provide the basis of your nutrition, but to fill in the gaps left by soil depletion and other side effects of modern society.

Oh yeah, the good news is today’s cod liver oil can be taken in tasteless capsules (choose gelatin free) and also come flavored for those who want to go old school and throw back a spoonful, ‘big mama’ style. So don’t worry about terrorizing your children. The modern versions are more child friendly.


No Health. No Wealth. Getting Our Priorities Straight October 21, 2010

Filed under: Health,Lifestyle — Kazi @ 6:00 am
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A sharp mind and a healthy body are fundamental to success in life and career. If your are in a business that demands critical decision making, stamina and a positive attitude, being healthy is particularly important.

How many of us these days suffer the stresses of long hours, multitasking and back to back deadlines. In addition to business and career pressures, we have family and community responsibilities pulling from every direction.

The stress that such a lifestyle can produce is enough to challenge the strength of your body and mind.

When you are unable to attend a critical business meeting due to a health issue, your colleagues will surely understand, but make no doubt about it, there will also be a certain level of disappointment and dissatisfaction in the atmosphere. If this becomes a pattern for you, their tolerance will swiftly fade.

A common cold, headache or twisted ankle can reduce you performance and jeopardize an important project. Imagine what a major illness could have on your plans.

So in addition to the hard and soft skills needed for success in your career, your health should be considered as a major asset to success in whatever field or venture you pursue.

Start viewing your health as part of your resume or as a key resource in you business plan.

Take proactive steps to make sure you prepare yourself physically, psycho-emotionally and socially to handle the challenges of your busy life.

Preventive health practices that foster and support vitality, clear thinking, restful sleep and and good digestion, should be included in your arsenal of strategies for business success.

Here are some key practices to help you obtain and maintain a healthy, happy body and mind.

  • Be sure to get enough sleep each night. Condition your sleep cycle by getting in bed at the same time every night.
  • Pay attention to your diet. Don’t treat your diet as casually as you do a trip to the toilet. Eat fresh, whole foods that sustain, energize and heal you naturally. Be sure to supplement your diet with super food snacks & herbs that fill in the nutritional gaps in your main meals.
  • Make exercise a daily routine. It doesn’t have to be a 60 minute sweat fest. I0-20 min. of vigorous exercise, 3-5 days a week, will keep you in shape once you’ve attained a healthy level of fitness for your age.
  • Your body is your personal temple. Keep it as clean as a house of worship erected as a dwelling space for divine. Inside and Out.  Add a seasonal detox and a regular trip to the sauna to your health maintenance schedule.
  • Don’t dwell on negative thoughts and emotions. Address any situation that has become a distraction directly. Then let it go and move on. Present your case in a calm but direct face to face or written messages that expresses your concerns.
  • Make time to share, consult, support and be nurtured by your social network. Whether family or friends. Make sure you are not isolated and have a circle of people to connect with who are not involved in your career.

The old attitude of putting your health on the back burner because your business comes first, is passe.

The compartmentalized model of life is slowly fading into the sunset as the integrated model that connects all aspects of our lives into one whole re-emerges on the opposite horizon.

Allow it to become your path to wealth, wisdom and good health.

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10 Mistakes Blocking Your Fitness MoJo


7 Reminders of why you should be exercising regularly. October 15, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 2:27 pm

I say this is a reminder because you already know everything on this list. It’s nothing new. You’ve heard it all before. You probably started your exercise routine after learning about one of the effects listed below. You know it, agree with it, committed to doing it and shared it with others.

Then life happened. And you became distracted by the onslaught of mundane occurrences and responsibilities that become the masters of your fate and captain of your ship.

So this post is just a brief reminder of why you should be exercising on a regular basis. Because the things that distract us from what we “know” we should be doing to improve and maintain our health and fitness are always sending up reminders to draw us back into their sphere of influence.

1. Exercise balances your mood.

Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. Regular physical activity can even help prevent depression.

2. Movement is Medicine

A regular exercise routine can help you prevent or manage high blood pressure and boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol while decreasing triglycerides. The combined effect helps to keep blood flowing smoothly by lowering the buildup of plaques in your arteries.

3. From couch potato to sweet potato fry.

Drop those excess pounds by getting involved in walking, biking or other physical activities. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. Incorporate you exercise into activities of daily living. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk during your lunch break. Do jumping jacks during commercials.

4. Exercise boost your energy level.

Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps the circulation of blood. Helping your heart to work more efficiently. The net effect, you’ll have more energy to do the …………. whatever!

5. Exercise promotes better sleep.

Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise close to bedtime. This can have the reverse effect.

6. Exercise can put the spark back into your sex life.

Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women and reduce the probability of erectile dysfunction in men, especially as they get older.

7. Exercise is fun!

Get physical! Exercise can be an enjoyable experience for the entire family. Hit the club with your mate or a group of friends. Instead of sitting at a table flossing with bottles of Cristal, get out on the dance floor and shake what you mama gave you. Dancing is one of the best exercises. Lose yourself in the rhythm and you will be surprised how the time will disappear.

Take the family on a hike. Push your kids on the swings or climb with them on the jungle gym. What happened to kickball and touch football. Stop complaining that kids nowadays spend too much time on video games and introduce them to some of the physical activity you enjoyed as a child.

Let’s get physical people.


7 Seasonal Adjustments to Balance Your Health-Fitness Routine October 8, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 9:43 pm
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I was sitting on my back porch today. Soaking up the last rays of warmth before the sun dips further south. Most of the trees here are still pretty green. There are some scattered red and orange beauties, making their transition. And the few golden-yellow giants in the distance confirm that the first chill is not far away.

Autumn, more commonly known as fall is a season in which “things fall apart.” The leaves fall from the trees and fruit from the vine. Signaling the time for harvest, in-gathering and grounding.

The wise woman & man recognize the change of season as a shift in the energy governing the earth’s life, health and strength. To take advantage of the spirit of the season, it’s necessary to adjust our schedules, activities and diets to our environment.

Here are 7 suggestions to help get the most out of the cool-drying nature of Autumn.

1.Earlier to bed, later to rise.

Like the Sun, we can benefit by shortening our day. Add an extra ½ hour to your down time. You can add thirty minutes at each end of your rise and retire cycle or use the time for internal work like reading scripture/spiritual literature, contemplating nature or the stars, writing in your day/dream journal.

2.Nutrients in, garbage out.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the lungs and colon energy correspond to the fall season. Extra attention should be given to balancing any deficiencies in their function. Clean your nostrils each morning with the aid of a Netty pot, using slight sea salted water. Reduce your intake of mucus forming foods. Use expectorant herbs as a cordial tea to keep the lungs clear. The skin is a direct extension of the colon. Brushing the skin with a loofah or other wet brush will exfoliate the dead skin and stimulate circulation. Eat locally grown, fresh, fibrous fruits and vegetables to help clean the colon. In some instances, a colonic may be in order.

3.Fall back.

Reduce the intensity, length or frequency of your fitness regime. Harvest and begin storing life force in your energy channels to sustain you in the cold season when the sun will be scarce. Try one of these suggestions- if your working out 6 days a week, give yourself an extra day of rest. Train for 40 min. instead of an hour. Don’t increase your max weight or cardio/duration until the spring.

4.Work your inside game.

Increase you meditative and energy exercise time. Move from the outside in. The internal martial arts are excellent for balancing and fortifying your inner bodies. Practice standing and moving meditation forms to ground your mind-body. Release excess toxins into the earth, so that they can be transformed into life-sustaining energy. Yoga and Chi Kung are among the most popular forms practiced in the U.S. today. Find a teacher now and use the fall/winter seasons to build the foundation of your practice.

5.Enjoy the harvest.

Eat foods that are locally in season. Apple picking opportunities are available on farms throughout the east coast of the U.S. right about now. Take the family, get all the apples you can eat and have a blast doing it. Eat as much fall harvest food as you can: artichoke, arugula, broccoli, endive, beets, broccoli raabe, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, celery, chard, chicories, cranberries,eggplant, fennel, garlic, horseradish, kale, scallion, green onion, leeks, okra, pears, peppers, grapes, persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkin, radish, spinach, sweet potato, turnips, squash and zucchini.

6.Baton down the hatches.

Start fortifying your residence against the coming wind and cold. Seal the windows and doors. Stock up wood for the fireplace. Stock up on rock salt for melting ice. Have your furnace serviced. Flush the radiators. Flush all gas powered garden equipment. Prepare to bring in the potted plants. Put away your garden hoses. Cover the swimming pool. Rearrange furniture to take advantage of the warmth of light from southern windows. Change your wardrobe. Put away the spring/summer clothing in exchange for the cold weather gear. Winterize your car.

7.Give thanks.

When we harvest the benefits of our hard work, we have to keep in mind that very little is accomplished alone. There are forces helping us both seen and unseen. Be grateful for all of the people who support, encourage, guide and challenge us. Give thanks to whatever force you hold to be “greater than yourself”, for allowing you an opportunity to live another day and make your unique contribution to the world. There is someone in the world right now, that would give anything to be in your shoes . . . . . . literally.

Those who do not lose their base endure
Those who die but do not perish have longevity
Lao Tzu – Tao Te Ching

Above quote by permission of Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths in 2006.


Come play with me! September 21, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 1:36 pm

Peace Family,
Just a quick update on our upcoming events: click on the links or contact me for details.


Saturday September 25- Advanced Hike to Breakneck Ridge
Athletic Hike-Scramble & Wilderness Retreat
Open Your Lungs to Embrace the Spirit of Autumn

Breakneck Ridge is a mountain along the Hudson River between Beacon and Cold Spring, New York, straddling the boundary between Dutchess and Putnam counties.  Its distinctive rocky cliffs are visible for a long distance when approached from the south, and together with Storm King Mountain on the opposite bank of the river forms Wey-Gat, or Wind Gate, the picturesque northern gateway to the Hudson Highlands.


Saturday October 9- Seated Massage for Couples, Partners and Family
An Experiential Workshop/Funshop
Health Gardens Wellness Center – So. Orange, NJ

This hands on workshop is for anyone who would like to gift their loved ones with the primal healing response of “intention through touch”. The techniques you will learn in this workshop will give you the tools to perform a 10-30 minute massage on anyone – anywhere. Help your partner to relieve their daily stress, harness their self healing resources, prepare the body for restful sleep and cultivate your bond of love and mutual healing. No special tools are required. Your hands and a chair are the only prerequisites to qualify for this workshop. We provide the chair!


Saturday October 6 – Intermediate Hike to Gertrude’s Nose
Beautiful Fall Foliage Hike in the Shawangunk Mountains
Minnewaska State Park, NY

Seemingly endless miles of trails, paths and carriageways are available for you in Minnewaska State Park Preserve. From quiet walks through groves of trees out onto the precipice of the cliffs, hiking in Minnewaska provides the full range of experiences possible in the Shawangunks.


Saturday & Sunday Mornings BodyFit Boot Camp
60 min. of Resistance, Persistence and Resilience training.
Branch Brook Park  – Newark, NJ

WARNING: Side effects of BodyFit Boot Camp may include:
Weight Loss, Muscle Tone and Restful Sleep.
Has also been known to increase Energy, Libido and Catcalls.

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Home Fitness Gym – Convenient, Efficient, Effective September 3, 2010

Filed under: Fitness — Kazi @ 1:36 pm
Tags: ,

Home fitness gyms are becoming more and more popular and even more affordable as people recognize the need for fitness programs to improve their health and wellness. Each year there is increasing evidence of the benefits of exercise to improve your health, including decreased cholesterol and blood pressure, improved sense of well-being, improved energy levels, and a decreased risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Home fitness gyms are on the rise because they are convenient, time saving and private. Many people who are starting a new program feel self-conscious at the gym where everyone is watching everyone else. The added benefit of the personal trainers at a gym is often outweighed by the cost of lost privacy and decreased convenience. Personal trainers can also be hired to train you at home or consulted for a short term to develop a program that you execute at home.

Home fitness gyms are also convenient because you are not dependent upon the hours of a gym. You can get up early and work out before going to work while still showering at home.

When you are choosing the equipment for your home gym look for a device that is designed for multiple functions. The home gym should also be safe, reliable and within your price range. These gyms don’t need to be expensive to provide the you with an effective workout. As technology advances the gyms are becoming more affordable while providing more variability.

When you are in the market for a home gym also be sure to evaluate the space in which you plan to keep, use and store the equipment. Sometimes there is a trade off when you are evaluating a home gym that folds efficiently and one that is more bulky. Often the gyms that use your own body weight are stored easily in a closet or under the bed making working out in your home even more attractive.

There is a home gym on the market to fit just about anyone’s needs. Gyms can be adapted for those who have disabilities; others are better suited to those who want an intense workout consistently and still others may meet the price range, availability and customer service needs of the client. What ever your choice you should make an attempt to try the home gym at the store or do extensive research to read reviews of real people who have actually used the product.

Home gyms are a real benefit to people who have a desire to improve their health but at the same time want the convenience and privacy of working out in their own home. As sales increase and technology advances the possibilities for home fitness gyms expand each year. Home or at the gym? The choice is yours.


Can Virtual Rehearsal Enhance Athletic Performance August 18, 2010

Filed under: Health,Sport — Kazi @ 1:57 pm
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Athletic performance can actually be improved using the interaction between the mind and the body. That mind-body connection has giving athletes positive, reproducible results for over 20 years. If we consider Asian martial artist, we can increase this number to some hundreds of years. The only barrier in the way of the athlete is learning the process that improves athletic performance by enabling the mind-body connection.

Studies have shown that learning new behaviors are more easily achieved when we practice them first in our minds. Learning the guitar is done more easily when we practice the cords in our minds. Using visualization to ‘see’ the placement of each finger on the guitar over and over again decreases the learning curve to play the guitar.

Our minds function as a studio in which we rehearse our lines, movements and emotional content before the actual scheduled performance. For instance, athletic performance increases when the athlete visualizes the specific event in their minds several times before the actual event. World-class runners have been doing this for years. They spend a couple of days visualizing each step they will take over the route. They see landmarks, hills and they feel their breathing patterns for each part of the course.

The entire experience is accounted for in the mental rehearsal. Athletic performance will improve when they also visualize how they’ll take each water stop, and if they’ll eat food during longer distance races. Nothing is left to chance and no detail is too small. Once the brain has been over the race and believes the body will feel great the athlete has a significant advantage over their opponents.

This works because as we visualize we are creating, arranging and rearranging neural interactions in the brain that later tell the body what to do since it has already happened. Executives use this technique to visualize their performance in major meetings; wealthy people mentally experience the execution of goal strategies and their outcomes. The key is to not just do positive thinking but actually experience the desired outcome in virtual reality, as if it was the here and now.

Leave a comment below with suggestions of ways virtual performance can assist us in our health and fitness pursuits.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen“(Heb.11:1)


Hip Hop Hop Hop Hop ……. July 15, 2010

Filed under: Exercise,Fitness,Health,Outdoors — Kazi @ 11:00 am
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The research on the health benefits that people receive when they exercise is beyond refute.  Blood pressure and cholesterol decrease, energy levels increase, weight is lost and the over all sense of well-being that results from consistent exercisers is proof positive.  One exercise often overlooked in a fitness program is jumping rope.

Jump rope exercises are an excellent cardiovascular program according to the US Olympic Committee Sports Medicine Council.  It is also among the exercises recommended for conditioning by the American College of Sports Medicine. There is less damage done to client’s joints and it isn’t as hard on the muscles as jogging and running.

During running and jogging the foot absorbs up to five times body weight from the force of impact against the ground.  During jump rope exercises, because both feet hit the ground simultaneously, the shock of hitting the ground is controlled and absorbed by the calf muscle.

Did you know that 10 minutes of jump rope exercising is equivalent to 1 mile of running? You all know I’m an efficiency freak when it comes to my workout.  This is the only fact I need to know. Count me in.

There are many advantages to jump rope exercises:

  • improves heart efficiency
  • improves lung capacity
  • promotes physical coordination and agility
  • greater ROI (return on investment of time) than jogging.
  • probably the cheapest fitness equipment purchase you will make

Start with the right equipment –   Shoes should be supportive with good lateral stability; they will prevent ankle injuries and save wear and tear on the joints.  Cross training shoes, tennis shoes and basketball shoes have great lateral stability built into the shoe.  Be sure they are real tennis shoes, built specifically to play tennis and not generic shoes purchased at the department store.

Use the right jump rope.  The rope should be heavy enough to develop a steady rhythm and long enough that the ends reach your armpits when you stand on the center of the rope.  The handles should be thick and comfortable.

Try to use a floor that has some cushion that will reduce the impact to your legs.  A floating wood floor, like on a basketball court, is significantly better than the concrete floor in your basement.  Even better is jump rope exercises done outside in the grass.  The ground provides cushion to your joints and resistance that means more energy expenditure for you.

Warming up and cooling down will help you to prevent injury and improve your flexibility.  Warm up exercises can be a quick walk, climbing the stairs for a few minutes or jump rope exercises slowly.

It is common in the beginning to feel uncoordinated and miss the rope.  Don’t give up.  You will notice improvement, increased coordination and flexibility within a few short days.

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Don’t Be Scared! July 8, 2010

Filed under: Exercise,Fitness,Health — Kazi @ 4:29 pm
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95+ weather is not an excuse to skip your outdoor workout (read- boot camp). This is just the mind once again, offering up what seems to be a logical argument for self sabotage. Resist, resist, resist.

Do you know why human beings are at the top of the food chain (sorry my veggie readers), it’s because we are masters of adaptation. When nature served us up those sour lemons….., you know the rest.

Don’t let extreme hot weather initiate the beginning of what can easily become a quick decline into exercise absence.  Use your common sense and take pre-cautions to safeguard your health and minimize your discomfort.  Here are a few simple tips:

– schedule your workouts for early morning and evenings after sundown. it may still be warm but the worst is either over or yet to come.

– drink water before during and after your workout. staying hydrated on a hot day is essential to a safe hot weather workout.

– take it down a notch. the heat is doing part of the job for you. your heart rate is naturally raised to push heat out of the body via the skin, while still providing oxygen and nutrients to the organs and muscles.

– workout in shady areas that are slightly cooler than it’s surroundings. every little bit helps.

– dress to de-compress. loose fitting cotton clothing is the way to go

– get in/get out. none of those extended 2-3 hour workouts. keep it Safe, Effective, Efficient.

So let’s get back out there and show the Sun “who’s boss of me.”  And if all else fails, hit the pool.

BodyFit Boot Camp

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Quench July 7, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 4:05 pm
Tags: ,

It’s time for me to fess up. I’m not an 8 x 8 everyday health and fitness trainer.  Let me make it clear on this 90+ degree day. I don’t drink eight – 8oz glasses of water everyday. Their, I said it. It feels good to be out of the closet.

I have learned over the years, to listen to my body when it comes to choices and schedules of various activities. I’ve noticed that my body, mind and spirit respond best when I repeat the practices that leave me feeling vital, alert and balanced and avoid those things that weaken, dull and throw me off my game.

One thing that is particularly clear to me is  that water taste exceptionally pleasing to me in the summer.  The hotter it gets, the better it taste.  Nothing taste as good a cold water in the summer season. I take this as my bodies way of seducing me into drinking more water.

At the same time, I don’t have as much of a need to hydrate in the colder seasons. Yes, I do drink water and other beverages, especially teas. But the urge is not as strong and the taste is not the same. So I go with the flow.  So far, it has worked for me.

I know, you’re like “duh, everybody knows that.” But do you really “Know It”?  Have you taken a moment to contemplate the significance of that perception or is it relegated to the overcrowded backburner of personal natural phenomenon that make you go huuumm?

We have more important fish to fry, like the latest political or entertainment celebrity scandal. Who has time to contemplate why food and water can taste differently under different conditions? Who cares anyway?

Pardon me, I digress.

Hydration of your body is essential to maintain optimal health and performance, especially when the temperature rises to extreme levels. So don’t neglect to drink to your hearts content.

At the same time learn to listen to what your body is telling you about your lifestyle. How do you feel when you get up after 6 hours, 8 hours or 10 hours of sleep?  Is your vegetarian diet really the best diet for you?  Yes, it may have helped you lose 50lbs, but is this the best that you can feel, on a daily basis?  Is your job killing you? Literally.

Lie detectors measure  your body response, not your mind.  Why? Because the mind is a trained liar.  It will lie to you and others to defend it’s beliefs, conditioning and ego. Your body doesn’t lie. It wants noting more than to survive. Trust what it’s telling you.

BodyFit Boot Camp

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Do it now. Keep doing it. June 26, 2010

Filed under: Exercise,Food,Health,Nutrition,Wellness — Kazi @ 6:05 pm

I see it over and over. Folks get the urge to get in shape, change their diet, reduce their stressors.

They start asking questions. Researching programs and coaches to help them get started. Then Wham! Life happens.

Mandatory overtime, a child gets sick, maybe an old friend comes to town and you become host and tour guide.  When the smoke clears, the desire to adopt a healthier lifestyle is a faint memory.

When you get the inspiration to make a change in your life. Seize the time.  Don’t allow yourself to get distracted. Don’t waste precious  time trying to do it the “right way.”  “Just do it.”  You can perfect it as you go along.

The urge to better your health is the opening of your souls’ window. It’s an invitation to dance intimately with your own compassionate, nurturing spirit.

When you turn down this invitation, or worse, accept the invitation, then fail to show.  You hurt your spirit at a depth that requires much time to heal.  It will be a long time before you receive that invitation again.

Each occurrence of this no show behavior reduces your spirits faith in your word. Try standing up your family physician a few times and observe the results.

Recognize your own importance.  Make your health (thrive-ability) a priority for you.  Close the gap between your head and your heart.

The next time you receive an invitation to dance with your inner Shaman.  Kick off your shoes. Put your hair in a bun. Take a deep breath. And just do it!

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Put me in coach June 17, 2010

Filed under: Fitness,Health,Personal Development — Kazi @ 2:52 pm
Tags: , ,

It’s been exactly 12 days since my last post. Compared to last month, when I was pumping a post out everyday, this is a sad representation of my productivity potential.  Fortunately, I know that I am being just as productive, but the medium of my expression has shifted temporarily.

Overall, the last two months has been extraordinarily productive for me, as far as writing is concerned. Last month (really April/May) I was involved in the 30 day blog challenge, organized by Connie Green
@ConnieGreen , Build Your Online Empire –  In this challenge, over 50 bloggers committed to writing a blog post of at least 150 words, everyday, for 30 consecutive days.

I know within myself, that I would not have done this on my own. And once I had publicly made the commitment, knowing that there was a group of people expecting to see a post from me everyday, there was no turning back.  Connie’s challenge, although posed to the group became personal for me.  I had to prove to myself, I could meet the challenge.

Since my involvement in the 30 Day Blogging Challenge, my followers on Twitter has grown by over 300,  Before starting a blog and joining the challenge, it took me a year to get 100 followers.

Four weeks ago, I entered the 6 Weeks to Sunrise project.  In this weekly teleseminar, Vernon Muhammad  –
@thehighroad and HighRoadism – has challenged us to achieve an extraordinary goal in 6 weeks.

The goal that I set for myself is indeed extraordinary, for I would never have challenged myself to accomplish, what I am accomplishing right now as part of this project.

My goal for the end of this project was to launch a new business venture from just an idea and book at least one public speaking engagement.  To my surprise, by week three I had already booked 2 (one I have already fulfilled)  and have commitments for two more.

The amount of content I have produced- from written goals and weekly task, web content, to white papers, surveys, and USP’s (and occasional blog post) and execution- calls, written correspondence, follow up,  in the last four weeks, is unusual for me.

I have always been a mood writer. I write when the spirit moves me. But the purpose of having a coach, is to learn how to encourage, train and harness the power of the spirit.  To move out of your comfort zone and into The Outer Limits. To be on the edge and allow yourself to become intimate with your un-comfort zone.

This is what we do as fitness coaches and personal trainers. We challenge people to Show Up, Step Up and Shake Up their usual routine. Coaches and trainers create challenging situations and allow their clients to experience and overcome discomfort.

This proves to them that they are capable of not only getting through it, but rising above it.  In the process they realize that discovering the flexibility of their perceived limitations, can also be a lot of fun. As they meet their health and fitness goals, that reward is the fuel that feeds their fire for greater challenges and higher expectations for themselves.

Many times, people hire coaches and trainers, not because they have know idea what to do.  They hire us because they have no idea how to get themselves to do it.

If you want to do more than you are doing, produce more than your are producing, reach higher than you are reaching, I suggest you find a coach/trainer that specializes in the area of performance you’re involved in. Whether it’s in business, health, sports, relationships or whatever, the expertise, accountability and encouragement of a coach will go a long way.

Let them be the fire underneath your feet and the blazers of your path, until running becomes your preferred means of travel.

health . wealth . wisdom

Bodyfitbootcamp now at Orange Fitness Center
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Removing the Obstacles to Health and Fitness Success June 5, 2010

Filed under: Health,Personal Development,Wellness — Kazi @ 5:20 pm
Tags: ,

As a health & wellness professional, I am privileged to serve in the capacity of a catalyst for change.  Most clients are interested in things like weight loss, chronic disease prevention, post rehab. training, stress management, pain management and some want to totally transform their lifestyle to attain and maintain better health.

Far too often, I encounter people who are prevented from pursuing their health goals with passion due to both real and imaginary obstacles. Obstacles that make their goals seem impossible.  One real obstacle to pursuing a healthy lifestyle is finances.

There are still many Americans living on subsistence wages who find it very difficult to shop for the best food or find housing in an environment that is healthy for their families.  Spending money on organic food, spa treatments and fitness training, even in a group setting is out of the question. The working poor are still a reality in this country.

Another major obstacle that can thwart a healthy lifestyle transformation is a defeated mindset. In many cases the people with financial instability also suffer from poor mental models that inhibit the manifestation of their desire to change both their financial situation and their poor health.

Health in it’s totality is a reflection of an organism which embraces and exudes love, peace and happiness. These are experiences that are not limited to our physical being. They require an integration of our personal, social, environmental and universal beings.

I am convinced that this integral approach is needed in order for people to achieve the healthy life they truly desire.  So I have decided to expand the scope of my service to embrace a personal development model that educates and coaches individuals and groups in the mindset, skills and strategies that lead to a lifestyle that fosters and enhances not only health, but wealth and wisdom also.  Thus, Healthy Wealth-Wise.

I know that the experts would advise against such a move. Expert wisdom is to specialize and reduce your scope of practice. Fortunately, I am not an expert.  I know that I am tackling an enormous problem and that is exactly why it will be an extraordinary accomplishment for me.

My success in this venture will allow me to impact the lives of a greater number of people and exercise presently underutilized talents as an educator and coach.  Leading to a greater sense of accomplishment and wholeness for both myself and those I serve.

To accomplish this refocusing and retooling of my business model, I have enlisted the services of Goals and Accountability Coach Vernon Muhammad and his Six Weeks to Sunrise Teleseminar, to guide and support me through the process of producing Extraordinary Results.

So stay tuned for new themes and topics in future post. But don’t despair if you have come to look forward to the health related post I’ve been writing.  Without Health, how could we enjoy or wealth or share our wisdom.





The Omega Man (SOD) June 3, 2010

Filed under: Health,Wellness — Kazi @ 12:41 pm
Tags: ,

Yeah I know, it’s been a minute. A brother has things to go, people to do, places to see and a whole lot of smoothies to get.(no typo)

That said. Here is a recipe to knock some insense into you.

1 cup         frozen strawberries

1 handful   kale leaves

1 tbs.         Udo’s 3-6-9 DHA oil

1 tbs          hemp protein

1 tbs          Berry Greens

1 tbs          ground flax seed

1 eye dropper stevia extract

Cover with water

Blend until it’s as smooth as you like.  This is a rich, omega fortified, high fiber blast of smoothie luv. The flax seed gives it a chewiness that you usually miss with smoothies. If you wanna be the last man or woman standing, drink a heaping cup of this everyday.

Warning: may cause super human strength, x-ray vision and shape shifting.  Void where prohibited.

BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park & Orange Fitness Center

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings: Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM

Mornings: Monday, Wednesday, Friday – 6 AM




Smoothie of The Day (SOD) May 24, 2010

Filed under: Health,Lifestyle,Wellness — Kazi @ 4:00 pm
Tags: , ,

I luv smoothies. Why? Because smoothies fit neatly into my philosophy on health and fitness.  K.I.S.S & S.E.E. On top of that they’re tasty.

Smoothies exemplify the K.I.S.S. formula: Keep It Small and Simple. Especially if you own a Magic Bullet blender. You can just add your ingredients blend one cup and take it to the head.

The prep is about 5 minutes. The clean up is 1 min and your are on with your day. With a conventional blender, the clean up is a bit longer but you can make enough for the family or enough for the day. Just put the extra in a cool thermos and your off.

Smoothies are also Safe-Efficient-Effective (S.E.E.) You don’t have to worry about what’s in your smoothie, because you are making it yourself. No labels to read and chemistry to figure out.

You can get a complete meal in your smoothie. You can customize it to your particular dietary needs. In addition to the live food ingredients, you can add whatever supplements you may be using at the time. Green powders, fiber, herbs, etc. Now that’s efficient for you. Did I mention, no plates or utensils are needed.

Last but not least, smoothies are effective. The blending jump starts the digestion process, getting nutrients into your bloodstream quickly. And they taste great.  This means your more likely to consume them regularly and so will your children.

Are you having trouble getting your child to eat greens. Try this smoothie recipe and watch her beg for more.

1 big handful of berries

1/2 sliced peach

1/2 leaf green chard

1 tbs. maca powder

1 tbs. hemp protien

1/3 eye dropper stevia extract

crushed ice (or use frozen fruit)

add enough water to almost cover

blend to smooth.

I like a thick but flowing consistency. Play with recipe to achieve the consistency you like. For an adult I would use an entire green chard leaf. You be the judge with your child.

Would luv to hear how your little experiment turned out. Leave me a comment about your experience.

BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM




Don’t Turn Your Friends into Foes May 20, 2010

Filed under: Health — Kazi @ 2:54 pm
Tags: , , ,

Something I encounter frequently, when inviting prospective clients to participate in a group training session or complimentary private session, is the old “I’m going to get my husband, girlfriend, cousin, boss, etc. to come do it with me. These people rarely seize the opportunity to get started on their health and fitness quest.

I am the first to advocate starting a health and fitness regimen with a partner or group of friends. Social support is an effective tool in ensuring adherence to you wellness program. But to delay the initiation of your goals, until you can get someone you know to join you, is nothing less than self-sabotage.

If you are serious about adopting a healthier lifestyle, joining a gym, starting a nutrition program, or taking steps to achieve any goal for that matter. Do not make getting a friend on board a pre-requisite to you getting started.  In fact, the exact opposite is the most effective.

When your friends and family see the progress you are making, physically, psycho-emotionally and spiritually via your quest, they will be begging you to share your secrets with them.  You will not have to sell the idea to them.  They will demand to be included.

Now you have an opportunity to share your blessings with those you love and hold dear. You can be the catalyst that transforms a friend, family or entire community by becoming the pudding, in which is found the proof.

We all have a leader inside of us, waiting to Rise and Shine.  Don’t bury your light under a bushel basket. Lead by example, then invite others to follow the trail you’ve blazed to a gold mine of healthy wisdom.


BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM




Buddha Belly Blues May 17, 2010

Filed under: Fitness,Health — Kazi @ 11:13 am
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I was at a barbeque yesterday (yeah, I get down like dat. What, what?)and a friend of the family asked me-

“What exercise can I do to get this fat off my belly”?

This is a question every fitness professional has been asked over a hundred times or more.  The six pack is the ultimate symbol of fitness and beauty in today’s youth oriented society.

I preceded to share the common knowledge in the fitness community (although sometimes hidden) that “there is none.”

There is no one magic exercise for eliminating belly fat or any other body fat for that matter.

Crunches, sit ups and the entire host of core training exercises will not eliminate belly fat, no matter how disciplined you are about doing them. What they will do is give you strong, well defined abdominal muscles that will remain hidden behind a burka of fat.

A burka is a over garment warn by women in many Muslim communities around the world. It hides the women’s body and face, protecting her from the gazes of the opposite sex and protects the men from having their lustful thoughts stirred up.

Belly fat can do the same thing for you.

Your tight, strong, intense workout defined abs will never be the focus of attention.

Only you will know just how strong,toned and beautiful they are.

But your not married you say. Oh, well that’s different. You should have said something earlier. To get rid of the belly fat that not only hides your sexy abs from the world, but is also a major risk factor for heart disease, you will have to make some dietary changes.

Bottom line, six pack abs are the result of a combination of proper diet, core strength training and aerobic exercise.

You need all three to get the abs you want.  To save time you can do intense interval training that delivers both strength and aerobic training benefits.

You can still get the beach body you desire in time for you summer vacay or weekends at the beach. Contact me at 973-658-6055.

BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM




Snack Attack Pt. 2 May 14, 2010

Filed under: Health,Wellness — Kazi @ 3:29 pm
Tags: , ,

Here is a list of healthy snacks you can use to stave off cravings and keep your metabolism fired up and help you stay on your eating plan.  Most of these are packable, few require cooking and many are non messy, for those who need to eat at their desk. Feel free to improvise, mix and match according to your palate, taboos and situation.

  • Apple sliced – 1 medium and peanut butter 2 tbsn
  • Apple sliced – 1 medium and hard cheese slices
  • Egg salad – 1/2 cup(include celery, onions, peppers)
  • Banana 1
  • Tomato soup–1 cup with baby carrots 5 oz
  • Can Tuna – 3oz  (in water)
  • Turkey breast  2 oz wrapped around 2 pickles
  • Pumpkin seeds –1/2 cup
  • Olives – 10
  • Almonds – 20
  • Dried fruit – 40g
  • Dried peas – 25g
  • Pop corn – 2 cups (air popped)
  • Cherry Tomatoes 1 cup
  • Bean Salad – 3oz
  • Grapes – 7oz


BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM




Taming The Snack Attack May 12, 2010

Filed under: Health,Wellness — Kazi @ 3:00 pm
Tags: , ,

We all get cravings from time to time (to time). It’s 3:30, a full hour, thirty minutes and 17 seconds before clock out time. You tummy is dong a slow dance to the tune of Maxwell’s somethin somethin. and it’s not about love.

What do you do when you need “a little somethin somethin” to take the edge off of your rising hunger, so you can concentrate and get on with the task at hand?  There are a few tricks and some healthy snacks that will tame the beast, satisfy your tasted buds and get you back to work without interruption.

  • Plan ahead- take at least two snacks to work wit you. One for before lunch and one for the afternoon stretch.
  • Train your beast. The body is very much like an animal. If you take good care of it and be consistent, it will usually behave the way you want it to. So have your snack everyday at the same time. Whether you are at work, home or out and about.  Sticking to a pre-determined time to have your snack will condition your body to expect  nourishment according to your schedule and head your cravings off at the pass (satisfy energy needs before cravings arise).
  • A snack is not an entree. Limit the portion of your snacks. A snack is just enough to satiate your energy needs until the next meal.
  • Eat snacks slowly. One bite at a time and chew completely before swallowing. The enzymes released in the chewing process are part of the digestive process, but also part of the signaling system that let’s the body know you have eaten.
  • Eat fruits or raw vegetables for snacks as much as possible. This will help you to get the fiber you need, in addition to micro and phyto-nutrients.

Tomorrow, my next post will give you a list of healthy snacks to give you not only something in your belly, but something nutritious as well.

Dingman’s Falls HikeSaturday May 15

BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM




Turn Your House Into a Home May 11, 2010

Filed under: Health,Wellness — Kazi @ 5:00 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

There are six key components to my KISS (keep it small and simple) healthy living philosophy. I have come up with this KISS analogy to make it easy to remember (that is if you care to remember).

Imagine your wellness lifestyle as a house. An average house, single family, one maybe two bedrooms, there are some common things you will find in the layout.

We enter on the first floor to find three main rooms- living room, dining room and kitchen. Beginning with the kitchen and dining rooms. This is where the family prepares and consumes nutriment.  The kitchen is a central area to any home.

Anciently, many cultures designed there living spaces around the meal prep. and cooking area called the hearth.

The hearth was the floor of the fireplace, usually made of stone or brick. The word hearth eventually became synonymous with house, home family.

The hearth was the first multi-purpose space. It was dining area, family room and guest/living room. This demonstrates the importance of diet and social support in the lives of human beings.

On the second floor, in a small house you will find the bedroom(s) and toilet/bathroom. The bedroom is where for the most part we sleep.

Sleep is one of the most overlooked healing elixirs at out disposal. Sleep is the repairer and restorer.

It is my belief that you should not have a TV in your bedroom and most certainly not go to sleep with the TV left on.

This is an invasion of your psychic privacy of the worst kind.

When you are asleep, you can still hear, you just can’t listen.  The conscious mind is the one that sleeps. It is the conscious mind (when functional) that screens, categorizes and files cultural data (words, stories,etc.).

When you sleep with the TV running in the background, you open yourself up to psychic intrusion. Your dreams are an open door to any and all messages; positive and negative.

The toilet is the central space for physical hygiene.  Many in the medical profession contend that medical technology is the root cause of life extension and public health in the 20the century.

But any medical anthropologist worth her salt, knows that the health and improved life expectancy of the western population improved exponentially with the advent of universal indoor plumbing, the toothbrush, public sanitation and the embrace of the idea that “cleanliness is next to godliness.”

The attic’ the highest space in the house, is where we store the things we don’t necessarily use daily, but would like to have access to them when the need arises. Much of it’s contents has been accumulated over a long period of time. And many things being held onto their, have long outlived there usefulness. I like to connect the idea of the attic to our mindset.

Our headset or belief system holds a high position in our hierarchy of values. This is the crossroads of the healing journey. When we are unable to get rid of the head trash that keeps us stuck in a non productive, de-evolutionary, diseased death-style holding pattern. We will be at the mercy of home invasion by the local riff raff: virus, germs, toxic foods, pollution, stress and the like.

If you truly want to attain and maintain a life of health, wealth and wisdom. Clean out your attic.

Lastly, the basement of the house, in addition to housing the laundry room and  core infrastructure, is where many home owners have their recreational space.  In a small house, the home gym is usually found in the basement.  Cool in the summer and not too warm in the winter. The concrete walls of an unfinished basement has the gritty, non-frills feel of a grunt gym.  This is the the space where we get our workout – in.

So, the six elixirs of Therapeutic  Lifestyle Alchemy are: Sleep, Hygiene, Exercise, Diet, Social Support and Mindset.  These are all aspects of our lives that are under our control. No rocket science required.

Get sufficient sleep. Pay attention to your hygiene (the rest of us will appreciate that also). Get moving. Eat whole foods. Share your life with, support and solicit help from family, friends and community. Periodically reassess your beliefs, values and idea of self.

These are the keys to transforming base metals (house) into gold (a home).

Dingman’s Falls HikeSaturday May 15

BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM




The Greatest Gift May 9, 2010

Filed under: Health,Wellness — Kazi @ 10:17 am
Tags: , ,

If you have been following my blog for the past few months, you have probably read numerous statements about my love for the outdoors and my urging others to get outdoors, now that spring has arrived.

My tree hugging ways started in childhood. Growing up in New York’s Bronx and Queens counties was great for me. There were still neighborhoods back then.  I mean, everyone new each other, spoke to each other and shared with other. Although I experienced my share of childhood trauma (bed wetting, bullies, getting stitches, romantic rejection, etc.), for the most part it was pretty good.

Each summer and some fall weekends my mother would take me and my siblings to spend time with friends in upstate New York. To this day, I can see the open land and forest, the streams and small ponds on the property.  My siblings and I would run wild on the land. I remember just lying face up on the ground and staring into blue sky.  Witnessing the daytime zodiac in the shapes of the clouds.

Finding salamanders, frogs, turtles and butterflies in what would feel like my own private petting zoo. And hide and seek in the wooded area around the main house was breathtaking, literally. I loved those trips away from the city.

I think about my mother every time I enter the wilderness.  Every time I smell pine cones, stagnant ponds and feel fall winds, her face, voice and the places we visited returns to me.

I read a quote today on Twitter that said: The best gift a mother can receive on Mothers Day is Happy Children.  These trips taught me how  simple it is to be happy. Without having everything I want and without everything always going my way.  These experiences introduced me to a part of myself that was happy discovering and being with “What Is.”

Thank you Ma, for opening the way, for me to be me. This is the greatest gift I have ever received. May my happiness be my gift to you.


Bored To be Wild May 8, 2010

Filed under: Health,Wellness — Kazi @ 12:38 pm
Tags: , ,

Yesterday I was talking to one of my past boot camp members about getting back involved with our program. During the conversation she stated that there was one major roadblock to exercising on her own. Of course I asked her what that was.  Her answer- ‘boredom.’

That is a reality for many people. There are some people who can’t wait to get in the gym, park or their home fitness room to workout. They are not the majority. I am a health & fitness professional and I still have days when beginning my workout feels like a chore. Once I get going, I am so glad I stuck to my guns.  The average person does not get-off on the idea of “no pain, no gain.”

To those people I recommend getting involved in a group workout. Groups generate a certain contagious energy, an elan that lifts up the individual members who may be a bit hesitant about deliberately wearing themselves out. In no time, your boredom is overcome and replaced by a wild undomesticated energy yearning to breathe free.

Find a group training program or boot camp in your neighborhood. If there is nothing near home, check the fitness facilities near your job.   The internet is overflowing with advertisements and websites advertising group training programs.  Type group training or boot camp into a search engine along with the name of the city or town you want to train in and I’m sure you will find plenty of programs you can check out.

Many group training programs will allow you to attend one or more sessions to determine if it’s the right fit for you.  Take advantage of the freebie. Talk to the instructor and some of the other group members to get an idea if it’s what your looking for.

Group training is a great way to get yourself motivated and into a exercise routine. Don’t let boredom prevent you from recapturing the health, strength and beauty you have lost.

Dingman’s Falls HikeSaturday May 15

BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM




Doubt is a Disease May 7, 2010

Filed under: Health,Wellness — Kazi @ 11:33 am
Tags: , ,

Doubt is the killer of dreams
Doubt is the blocker of memes

Doubt is the darkness at the end of the tunnel
Doubt is narrow end of the funnel

Doubt is losing before you fight
Doubt is overestimating others might

Doubt is the end of possibilities
Doubt is the mentor of false humility

Doubt is the sibling of fear
Doubts the glass ceiling on your career

Doubt is chairman of the inner committee
Doubt is the worship of non-doubters like Diddy

Doubt is wasting time on what if’s
Doubt is the squandering of your gifts

Doubt is the promoter of disease
Doubt is the forest for the trees

Doubt is knocking on wide open doors
Doubt is dining on scraps from the floor

Doubt is belief in your enemies magic
Doubt is repeating a story that’s tragic

Doubt is the bird in the hand
Doubt is the line in the sand

Doubt is never having to say I Love Me
Doubt is always thinking What Could Be

Doubt is feeling the pain before the punch
Doubt is the desert after the free lunch

Doubt is saying sorry for being abused
Doubt is the magnet for being used

Doubt is not flapping your wings
Doubt is not taking a swing
Doubt is not daring to sing

Doubt is 1/4 of a smile
Doubt is quitting 1/4 inch before a mile

Doubt is in the eye of the controller
Doubt is the urge to roll over

Doubt is the enemy of success
Doubt is the need to impress

Doubt is the fear of Know(ing) the Ledge
Doubt is the clinging to the edge

Doubt is the inability to Let Go(d)
Doubt is not going for what you know

No Doubt!


Dingman’s Falls HikeSaturday May 15

BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM




Entrepreneurship as Path To Self Healing May 6, 2010

Filed under: Health,Wellness — Kazi @ 2:53 pm
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These days, many of us work from our homes. Some are full timers, burning the morning, mid-day and mid-night oil, slumped over a keyboard and monitor trading their social and economic currency of attention, empathy, creativity and expertise in exchange for dollars.

A successful online business demands social marketing strategies that insist on developing genuine relationships with your target audience. No matter how many systems you put in place to automate this process, you still have to put in a significant amount of time and energy to be successful at it. I have yet to meet an internet entrepreneur with a “Four Hour Work Week.”

When running a business, in which your ability to attract and service clients is directly impacted by the time and energy you put in online, you had better have systems in place to ensure you get the personal outer and inner cultivation you need to remain healthy and on top of your game. Your attention, time, energy and creativity are all aspects of your Chi. Your Chi is your very life force. It is the very basis of your health, wealth and wisdom.  If you allow your chi to diminish, you allow your life to diminish.  Isn’t this why we left our jobs?

Here are some tips to help you maintain your life force as you build your internet empire:

  • Maintain office hours. You should have a specific time you clock in and clock out each day. Strange as it may seem, I accomplish more when I have deadlines and a full calendar. Create your own “sense of urgency”. When the whistle blows. Close the office and put it out of your mind.
  • Being your own boss means you can take an extended lunch. Once you become familiar with the rhythm of your particular business; schedule siesta hours that allow you to not just have lunch, but to pencil in prayer/meditation, sit down time with family or a friend, a walk in the park, short nap or whatever will give you a temporary respite from your “office mind” and reconnect you to your body-heart-soul complex.
  • Keep basic fitness equipment in your office. A good workout can be done in spurts.  Yesterday I did my workout while writing my blog. I got in three sets of Pull Ups – 10x, Overhead Triceps Press (20lb. dumbbells) 20x and Stability Ball Crunches 40x.  Each set took about 3-4 minutes max.
  • Being at home means you don’t have to be at the mercy of the menus of the institutional cafeteria, local restaurants and food stands. Stock you fridge and cupboards with healthy, simple to prepare foods that give you the physical and emotional nourishment you need to perform at your best.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Working from home should be more that being your own boss.  It can actually be the hub of your wellness lifestyle transformation strategy. Would love to hear ways you have turned working from home into an opportunity for wholistic healing for you and yours.


BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM




Nutrients and Herbs for Stress May 5, 2010

Filed under: Health,Wellness — Kazi @ 10:04 am
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Stress is something we all have to deal with at one time or another. The stress response is a natural biological function, but can become hazardous when allowed to reach chronic proportions. Here are some nutrients suggested by Dr Majid Ali to help us keep our stress levels in check.

First and foremost, it is important to use herbs in moderate doses and in rotation. All herbs become drugs if used in large doses and for long periods of time. Historically most drugs were isolated from herbs and plant sources.

Valerian root in doses of 400 to 1,000 milligrams taken at bedtime enhances the quality of sleep.

Chamomile taken as tea or in capsule form is helpful in chronic stress and anxiety states. It may be safely added to prescriptions for valerian.

St. John’s Wort and Ginkgo Biloba in doses of 250 to 500 milligrams, two or three times a day.

Passion flower, Catnip and Skullcap are mild herbs that have been extensively used for managing irritability, anxiety and stress.

Don’t wait for stress and anxiety to become so strong it overpowers you. Use nutritional supplements, exercise and meditation as preventative medicine when you anticipate or enter stressful times.



BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM

Tai Chi Kung beginning May 8 at Branch Brook Park.




Join The Animal Movement May 4, 2010

Filed under: Health,Lifestyle,Wellness — Kazi @ 6:05 pm
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In the past decade, the progressive sectors of medical community and media have put strong effort into promoting exercise and diet as keys to reducing weight, developing muscle tone and cardio-vascular health. I applaud their work, along with the fitness industries campaign to educate the general population on the effectiveness of exercise in weight management.

I am concerned however, that exercise is still viewed as an optional aspect of our lives. We still perceive exercise and planned physical activity as something you do to reach a particular health-fitness goal. This take on exercise may have held true forty years ago, but it’s usefulness needs to be evaluated in light of today’s socio-economic reality.

Prior to the firm establishment of the information age in America, most of our population would engage in physical activity almost daily.  This would occur in both work and play.  The adult population involved in manual labor in factories, civil service, agriculture and the like spent a significant number of hours each day walking, lifting, pushing, pulling twisting and  tossing. These are all primary movements of human anatomy and the core of the specialized routines that we call exercise.

As I child, I can remember spending hours playing on the street, backyards and parks of my neighborhood of Hollis, New York. Television was for evenings and late fall/winter entertainment.

As we gradually moved into an information economy and a virtual society, this kind of natural workout for adults and children has been decreasing exponentially with each decade. Virtual reality has taken over as recreation of choice for a most of our children. And we have learned to let our fingers do the walking, while we sit at our desk, in front of a computer terminal. Thus we find ourselves now with an obesity epidemic never seen before in this country or in any country in the world.  It’s time to rethink how we present the idea of physical activity.

Human beings, although we hate to admit it, are animals. We share the same basic cellular and systemic form with most mammals in the animal kingdom.  One of the obvious characteristics that distinguishes animals from the plant kingdom is mobility. The ability to move upon the earth. Movement is not some bonus that is optional for those who want to lose a few pounds or develop athletic ability.  Movement, activity is vital to who we are as a life form.

There are two things we naturally look for to determine if someone or something is alive; movement and breathing. You can add heartbeat if you like, but it all boils down to movement. Breathing and heartbeat/pulse are the result of autonomic movement and are increased by increase body movement.  When someone around us shows no sign of movement for too long, we become concerned and check their vital signs. Our ability to survive (obtain food, clothing, shelter) is directly and subconsciously linked to movement through approach and avoidance.

Exercise is not an option folks. Your primal, subconscious survival mind demands it.  Resistance is futile. If you don’t move, you will lose.  Let’s start calling a spade a spade. Movement enhances life, Stagnancy ushers in death. There is no option for those who want to not only survive, but thrive.

Join The Movement


BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM

Tai Chi Kung beginning May 8 at Branch Brook Park.




Courting Cuba May 3, 2010

Filed under: Health,Wellness — Kazi @ 10:52 am

The goddess Cuba can be very mysterious and elusive to those who not familiar with her.  She is jealous, yet promiscuous; courting millions of consorts nightly. A primal goddess, who to this day torments those who do not respect her and court others during her sacred cycle.

Cuba is the goddess of the bedroom and is associated with sleep.  Her name literally translates to- lying down.  Cuba protects us during out sleep, especially children. To gain her favor, like all women, you must pay tithes with your attention. She must know that you value her company and place no other above her in your heart.

For those of you who unfortunately find yourself on her bad side, here are a some suggested rituals and remedies to regain her favor and your own life, health and strength:

  • Listen to Some Soft Music that will lull you to sleep. There are CDs designed for that very purpose. Some are specially composed music, others simply have sounds of waves rhythmically breaking, or the steady pattern of a heartbeat.
  • Try a cup of hot Chamomile, catnip, anise or fennel tea. All contain natural ingredients which will help you sleep.
  • Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol and Tobacco. Research has shown that alcohol upsets sleep, preventing a deep rest. Same with tobacco. Avoid them all.
  • Get Some Physical Exercise During the Day. People with “mental” jobs, like office workers, have far more trouble with insomnia than do people who work physically hard all day. Even 15 minutes a day of exercise (at least half an hour before going to bed so your body will have a chance to slow down) will give your body the activity and oxygen it needs to help you relax more and sleep better.
  • Keep Your Bed a Place for Sleep.  Okay, and maybe for one other thing. But not for working, reading, watching television, doing crossword puzzles, or whatever else occupies you in the evening. Let your mind and body identify bed with sleeping.

These are sure fire ways to woo the goddess and become here favorite once again. In the unusual event that this does not do the trick. I suggest offering chocolates. Preferably Godiva. Have them shipped to Kazi at My Body Temple and I will make sure she receives them  🙂


Never leave the table feeling: “I could not have eaten more.” May 2, 2010

Filed under: Health,Nutrition — Kazi @ 1:01 pm

The human animal is one of the only if not the only creature that has set aside 3 times a day to gorge itself on bulky meals. Most animals graze throughout the day. Predators hunt when hungry and once satiated may not eat for days and sometimes weeks. Humans consume large meals at a sitting until our bellies are about to burst.  We then find something to occupy our time until the appointed hour of the next obligatory feast.

This three feast a day pattern we adhere to can be dangerous.

It is part and parcel of the man made system of social control that is designed to make the eight hour a day, 5-6 day a week labor system operate like a well oiled machine. Prior to the industrial revolution, this eating cycle was not universal. Often, when I suggest to clients whose goal is weight loss, that they should begin eating a minimum of 5 meals a day; the reaction is often a long pause, a startled stare or an outright “how can I do that”. For most working people with commitments and the like, it’s hard enough keeping up your present schedules. Adding 2-3 extra meals to our list of things to do can sometimes be a bit much.

By decreasing the portion size of our meals, incorporating healthy snacks and supplemental meals like smoothies, you can get those 5 meals in easier than you think. All it takes is a little planning and commitment.  Soon enough your old eating habit will be replaced by your new sacred lifestyle nutritional ritual.

You should always feel satisfied after a meal, but have room in your tummy to eat more (but don’t).

Eat to Live! Don’t Live To Eat!


Tuesday May 4 is the Official Jump Off

BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM

See you at boot camp.

PS. Tai Chi Kung beginning May 8 at Branch Brook Park.
Free Pre-Boot Camp continues Saturday. 1 sessions remaining.




The 6:00 AM Booty Call May 1, 2010

Filed under: Health,Lifestyle,Wellness — Kazi @ 8:51 pm
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Shortly after sunrise this morning we conducted the final session of Pre-Boot Camp.  Each year I run a fitness boot camp in my local park – Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ. For those who are not familiar with the boot camp type of workout, it’s a group exercise program that in some ways mimics the physical fitness portion of the military boot camps that are used to train our troops.

Participants are put through a series of exercises that challenge their present fitness level, forcing them to reach down deep and find strength that they many times didn’t know they had.  Boot camp workouts vary from place to place.  Some like ours, are held outdoors, others indoors. Some rely on the use of an assortment of equipment, while at the other extreme, some focus on body weight exercises.  What goes on in boot camps is pretty up to the training, philosophy and creativity of the instructor(s) running the camp.  The common denominator is the assurance of a kick ass workout.

I do the Pre Boot Camp each year to give prospective boot campers an opportunity to:

  • get a hands on experience of the actual workout
  • determine if this is the type of exercise they want to do
  • get to meet and bond with the other boot campers
  • get to meet me and determine if I am the trainer they want
  • start developing the habit of waking up at the crack of dawn to get the workout done
  • begin to develop the strength and endurance required to last the full BodyFit Boot Camp workout

Out of the 10 who attended over the last two weeks, 8 have committed to register for the full Monty. In addition to 1 previous client and 2 who are registering just on word of mouth.  I applaud each and every one of them.  It is not easy to make a commitment to improve your health.  It requires changing old habits, taking action instead of complaining and putting yourself first.

Most of my boot campers are mature women, with families and careers that have been their chief priority, main consumer of their energy and devourer of their time for most of their adult life. Taking care of themselves was just one more thing on a long list that kept getting pushed to the back of the shelf. For them, just showing up at boot camp or any other healthy living program, is a huge step.

I urge you all to take a page from their book.  Help yourselves, so that helping others does not become self sacrificial. Leave the martyrdom to the prophets and soldiers. Hats off to all of my boot campers. We have a great 16 weeks ahead.

Make Today, The First Day, of The Best of Your Life



Tuesday May 4 is the Official Jump Off

BodyFit Boot Camp – Branch Brook Park

Mornings: Tuesday, Thursday 6 AM – Saturdays 7 AM

Evenings:  Tuesday, Thursday 7 PM – Saturdays 7 AM


Side effects of boot camp may include: weight loss, muscle tone,

increased energy, libido and cat calls.

In essence, a boot camp is the “I’m finally sick and tired of being sick and tired workout. It’s the “I’m serious about transforming my coach potato body into a sleek, tasty sweet potato fry workout.” The BodyFit Boot Camp pits you against your doubts, procrastination and denial in a no holds barred, knock down, drag out conflict for the title of:


See you at boot camp.

PS. Tai Chi Kung beginning May 8 at Branch Brook Park.
Free Pre-Boot Camp continues Saturday. 1 sessions remaining.