Saturday, January 31, 2009

Crunchless Abs Works for Linda LaRue

Success!  I am now down to my pre-holiday weight (in fact I am 1 1/2 pounds less), as I overindulged during the holidays, and gained 6 pounds.  I followed my SOUPer Slim Diet ebook Eating Guide Weeks 1&2, then, Weeks 3 thru 8 Guide.  I made my vegetable soup for the first couple of weeks then, switched it up to my new, 5 vegetable lentil soup recipe.  (There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of steaming lentil soup in the winter.)

I got on a training schedule of hitting 2x10 minute Crunchless routines 5x/week, 2 cardio-core sculpting sessions, and a power walk on the treadmill (or outside) using 2 pound heavy hands, 2-3x/week.  I also made sure I kept my Crunchless Abs Set-Up to fully engage and fire my entire core/trunk and shoulder/arms.  

I have my abs back, can fit into my skinny jeans, and am back to comfortable weight.  Plus, my back is stronger too, which is good for my back due to all this blogging.  Nothing like being my own guinea pig:)  

How about you?  Have you lost your holiday weight yet?  If not then, get moving now!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

9 Healthiest Winter Vegetables

I thought I would post this article by Donna Gates, author of The Body Ecology Diet book and contributor on Intent.

Winter is here and unless you live in warmer climates, many of us spend the majority of our time indoors. The gardens may be frozen over, but that does not mean you can't enjoy the bounty of the earth and use this winter to heal! Plenty of vegetables thrive in winter, making this the perfect season to use them in your favorite recipes. I recommend that you choose organic produce, whenever possible.

Here are 9 of the healthiest winter vegetables for you to try this season:

  1. Kale

Why? This descendent of wild cabbage is a member of the Cruciferae family, along with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and collards. Kale originated in Asia Minor; around 600 B.C., and Celtic wanderers most likely brought the vegetable to Europe.

Leafy green kale is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese. It also has plenty of dietary fiber, copper, calcium, vitamin B6 and potassium. 

Look For: Crisp, tender leaves that are bright in color.

Make: Do not eat these raw. Instead, here's a favorite recipe. Sauté onions in a bit of ghee then, add the chopped Kale. Pour about 2 inches of lightly salted water over the top. Now, slowly pour a small amount of olive oil over the top in a spiral. This will make the kale even more tender. Do not stir until the very end of cooking. Simmer the kale over low heat for at least an hour. Try adding cooked kale to your salads or eat for breakfast or brunch with eggs.

A note about cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collards, and Brussels sprouts all belong to the Cruciferae family of vegetables. These vegetables when eaten raw and unfermented, may suppress the thyroid. I recommend cooking them to eliminate this tendency. You can also ferment them as fermentation boosts the nutritional content of these vegetables because their nutrients are much more available to you. Read why you need to cook these vegetables or maximum nutrition to learn more.
  2. Artichokes

Why? Artichokes are a great source of fiber and vitamin C, and have minerals like magnesium, folate, copper, potassium and phosphorus. Be sure you cut off all of the point "chokes" before cooking with a pair of scissors. 

Look for: Heavy artichokes that are tightly closed.

Make: Steamed artichokes taste great with little adornment. Cultured butter or olive oil with a squirt of lemon and dash of Celtic Sea Salt are all you need. Cut up steamed artichoke bottoms or "hearts" from last night's dinner into your salad.
  3. Cauliflower

Why? The milky, sweet, nutty flavor of cauliflower is a nice change from stronger-flavored vegetables. 

Even though it lacks chlorophyll, cauliflower has plenty of other nutrients including vitamin C (91.5% of the DV), folate and dietary fiber. Cauliflower is even a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. 

Look for: Tightly packed heads that have no brown spots.

Make: Delicious soups and pureed cauliflower spice up your usual vegetable routine. 
Try Claire's Creamy Curried Carrot and Cauliflower Soup in The Body Ecology Diet book, that also has a delicious Cauliflower Dill soup recipe.
  4. Cabbage (*Also a member of the cruciferous family, see note on kale above.)

Why? Grown in ancient Greece and Rome, cabbage was considered a cure-all for a myriad of health conditions. Later, sailors took sauerkraut (made the traditional way ... see article below) on long voyages to prevent scurvy. Now we know that cabbage (especially fermented cabbage) has amazing anti-cancer properties, and is an excellent source of vitamins A and C.

Look For: Tight and firm heads with no broken or bruised leaves.

Make: Check out the Sweet and Sour Savory Cabbage, a favorite Body Ecology recipe. Plus, you can make your own cultured veggies and kimchi for the most beneficial properties of cabbage including cleansing.
  5. Winter Squash

Why? Winter squash comes in a variety of shapes and flavors. Examples are acorn, butternut, buttercup and delicate squash. Pick one (or more) that you enjoy for a delicious and nutritious winter dish. Winter squash is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber, and a good source of folate and thiamin.
 Look For: A squash that feels heavy for its size. Skin should be thick and hard without blemishes.

Make: One simple and VERY DELICIOUS recipe called "Yummy Baked Acorn Squash." You can also make roasted squash, pureed squash in place of mashed potatoes, or add to a starchy soup.
  6. Brussels Sprouts (another cruciferous vegetable, see note on kale above)

Why? Native to Belgium, specifically Brussels, these little vegetables were once a staple all around Europe. 

They look like perfect miniature cabbages. An excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K, they also have folate, vitamin A, manganese, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 and thiamin (vitamin B1), omega-3 fatty acids, iron, phosphorous, protein, magnesium, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin E, copper and calcium. 

Brussels sprouts also have amazing disease-fighting phytochemicals.

Look for: Brussels sprouts of equal size (if they are no longer on the stalk) to ensure they cook evenly. 

Make: Steamed Brussels sprouts with butter and Celtic Sea Salt are excellent. Be sure to cut an x in the stem so that the tightly packed interior leaves also cook. 

For a new twist on ordinary Brussels sprouts, check out this Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe that will make everyone want to eat their vegetables!
  7. Avocadoes

Why? Delicious avocadoes are an excellent source of vitamins A, C and E and potassium, and a good source of fiber and iron.

Look for: Avocadoes that yield to soft pressure, are uniform color and have no bruises.

Make: Add half an avocado to a green smoothie, or cut up avocadoes into salad, or enjoy as an edible "dish" along with cultured vegetables. Donna Gates, founder, often cuts them in half, removes the big seed and fills the hole with cultured veggies. She then sprinkles dulse flakes and pumpkin seed oil over the top to create a quick lunch or snack.
  8. Turnip Greens (another cruciferous vegetable, see note on kale above)

Why? Turnip greens are an amazing source of vitamin A (through their concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folate, copper, calcium, and dietary fiber. These nutrients are of special importance when fighting rheumatoid arthritis, colorectal cancer and atherosclerosis.

Look for: Healthy, un-wilted leaves and moist stems.

Make: Turnip greens cook up beautifully. Slice off the stems and just quickly sauté the leaves with onions and cook until tender.  Mix with other greens for flavor and texture. 
  9. Broccoli (cruciferous vegetable, see note on kale above)

Why? Broccoli contains glucosinolates (special phytochemicals), and the carotenoid, lutein. Broccoli is an excellent source of the vitamins K, C, and A, as well as folate and fiber. Broccoli is a very good source of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and the vitamins B6 and E.

Look for: Firm stems with heads that are a dark green-purple color. Buds should be closed with no sign of yellow flowers.

Make: Broccoli florets can be steamed until tender. They are delicious to eat on the go like in lunch boxes. If you peel the woody part off the stems and you can use them too. Also, steam them for a fiber-rich and crunchy winter vegetable dish.
As you can see, there are so many ways to eat healthy mineral-rich vegetables in the winter months. Winter is the season designed to restore your adrenals, kidneys, and bladder organs. If you have adrenal fatigue or burn out this is your time to harness the power of nature to heal your body. Adrenals need lots and lots of minerals. Winter is perfect for slowing down, resting and reflecting. It's also an ideal time to nourish your body with delicious, vitamin, mineral and phytochemical-packed soups and meals made with nature's perfect super food—vegetables!

Don't forget those ocean veggies either. For more articles like these or to sign up for our free newsletter, visit

For comforting, yummy winter vegetable soups, buy my SOUPer Slim Diet ebook at

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

10 Green Workout Tips

We all agree that we need to do a better job conserving our planet’s limited resources, but where do you begin? Here are 10 simple solutions that will help you get green into your workout routine without much effort at all. These eco-friendly changes are easy switches that will save you time and lots of money! How awesome and easy is that?
  1. Curb your consumerism. Buy less active wear, expensive running shoes, and/or fad, workout gizmos (that you know are NOT quick-fixes for proper exercise and diet). You’ll leave a smaller carbon footprint and leave more money in your wallet too.
  2. Recycle your water/sports bottles. Buy a recyclable water bottle instead of plastic one-use water bottles. Recyclable water bottles will save you big bucks in the long run, as most designer waters are very expensive. Many individual 16-ounce designer waters that include minerals and vitamins are now over $2.00 a bottle. These outrageously overpriced waters are unnecessary, as you can obtain all your vitamins and minerals by eating a sensible diet along with taking a daily multivitamin. Did you know that according to the Container Recycling Institute only 23% of plastic bottles are recycled in the US? 38 billion plastic bottles go into landfills in the US each year. Plastic bottles take up to 1000 years to biodegrade. I recommend these two recyclable water bottle companies: Sigg and Klean Kanteen
  3. Use biodegradable body products. Buy biodegradable body wash and shampoo in bulk, which will save you money and decrease bottle use. Then, fill them into smaller, personal-use size reusable bottles. (Most major discount retailers sell biodegradable body wash and shampoo in bulk and oftentimes run brand-name specials.) 
  4. Join a neighborhood gym that’s within walking distance to where you work and/or live. You’ll be supporting the local economy, saving car gas emissions, and costly parking fees.
  5. If the weather is fine, walk outside—it’s free. Did you know that out of all motorized pieces of fitness equipment, treadmills use the most energy? 
  6. Use organic cotton and/or bamboo, or reclaimed fabric towels. Lots of discount retailers sell eco-friendly towels, such as organic cotton, bamboo, or organic cotton-bamboo blend. For example Bed, Bath, and Beyond, a nationwide retail store, sells them for reasonable prices. They routinely offer 20% coupon specials, which make the towels even more affordable. And, bamboo towels are extremely soft, luxuriant, and absorbent.
  7. Buy recycled and/or natural fitness products. Fitness product manufacturers such as GIAIM and Natural Fitness, Inc, are beginning to manufacture products using recycled materials, especially rubber. 
  8. Choose eco-friendly organic and/or recycled active wear. Today, there seems to be an over abundance of green materials being made into clothing. Time will tell what materials consumers like best due to price, performance, look, and feel. LuLuLemon and GIAIM offer organic cotton and soy fiber blend, seaweed blend, and recycled polyester active wear for men and women that is form flattering, comfortable, and long-lasting. (I like LuLuLemon, because their clothes look and fit me best, and their retail stores are built eco-friendly too.) Brooks Sports, makes a biodegradable athletic running shoe. Another frugally green idea is to shop your local, upscale thrift shops. The best days to find great clothes are Mondays and Tuesdays after folks have dropped off their clothing over the weekend. Thrift shops are hit and miss—so you may need to visit them more than once.
  9. If you upgrade your home gym, make it eco-friendly. You can easily incorporate all these planet friendly measures when creating your home gym:
  10. Buy used workout DVDs, as it’s a great way to recycle and save money too. You can find great quality, popular used home workout DVDs for less than half price at Amazon, EBay, and
For more great health and fitness tips join my free, Make Healthy A Lifestyle emagazine!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Be Your Gym's Green Advocate

Making healthy a lifestyle is not only what you do to your body healthfully, but also how your body impacts the planet. If you have a gym membership, you can easily become a green advocate at your health club. Most green measures that apply to your home, including building products, are same principles. The only difference is that they are on a commercial, not residential, scale. Two health club chains, The Equinox Clubs, EquinoxFitness and pro basketball, former MVP, Steve Nash, SteveNashSportsClubs are making a phenomenal effort to “green” their health club facilities.

Equinox is embracing a green lifestyle by educating their members about how to live green too. For example according to Brian DeCato, General of Equinox Westwood, CA, they are placing signs for members to use fewer towels, use less cleaning products, and take shorter showers. They have strategically placed recycling reciprocals throughout the club to recycle. All Equinox staff are instructed how to teach these green friendly practices to their members.

A simple way to begin being a green advocate for your gym is to suggest to the club GM or owner that he schedule an appointment by the local electric and power company to make energy saving suggestions. Most electric and power companies offer this service for free. A good, “green pages” online source for information is Listed below are measures being implemented by both clubs for you to begin advocating.
  • Use bio-degradable cleaning products.
  • Use bio-degradable body wash, lotions, etc.
  • Use bio-degradable detergents for towels.
  • Offer recyclable sports/water bottles at the sports store, such as,, and
  • Use organic/bamboo towels.
  • Teach your members to be green by placing signs to remind clients to conserve water when showering, use fewer towels, and signs in the club that state every drop of water counts, and say use fewer towels. 
  • Teach the staff to reinforce the above green behavior.
  • Buy yoga mats, yoga blocks, stability balls, etc. from companies such as and, as they manufacture equipment from recycled or natural material.
If creating or upgrading
  • Install low flow shower heads.
  • Install low flow toilets.
  • Install automatic toilet flush systems, which save 1 gallon of water per flush.
  • Install energy efficient water heaters.
  • Install natural gas dryers for washer and dryers that are energy star efficient too.
  • Install energy efficient lighting.
  • Build yoga studios that have bamboo, sustainable wood floors.
  • Use recycled rubber for gym floors.
  • Strategically place recycling reciprocals that are ready presorted for glass, plastic, and paper.
  • Use only FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood.
  • Use formaldehyde free wood products.
  • Use High performance air filters and clean them regularly, which will save energy with air conditioning.
  • Install lighting control components and procedures to ensure lights are not on longer than absolutely necessary.
  • Install HCFC-free (Hydrochlorofluorecarbon) heat pumps.
These practices will significantly help “Green” your health club by increasing energy performance, improving water efficiency, conserving building resources, and improving the indoor quality of your gym. As Steve Nash puts it, “It’s about leaving a smaller carbon footprint by making the planet healthier too.”

*The new, Equinox Club on 17th Street in NYC has built a living wall, which is a wall of living vegetation that cleans the air and provides a natural sound barrier. It’s a wall of growing plants, which increases oxygen levels and decreases level of carbon dioxide. It’s a beautifully green, proactive way to offset the clubs oxygen levels.

For more great green workout and health articles join my free, Make Healthy A Lifestyle emagazine at

Blessings and abundance,


Monday, January 19, 2009

Five Flat Belly Fixes

Belly-bloat will wreck all your dedicated, “Crunchless” abdominal training for achieving flat, sculpted, sexy abs. Here are five, quick fixes that will help banish belly bloat, which will keep your mid-section flat and “poochless”.
  1. Eat yogurt with live cultures and take a probiotic that includes acidophilus and bifidus every day to boost the good bacteria that lives healthfully in your digestive tract. These good bacteria keep you regular and prevent gas and bloating which causes your gut to extend and feel uncomfortable. My favorite probiotic that I take every day and highly recommend is Da Vinci’s Chewable Mega Probiotic’s Plus. Since I began taking Da Vinci’s Chewable Mega Probiotic Plus, my gut has never felt better. I no longer suffer from uncomfortable belly-bloat and stomach pains.  To order your probiotics click here.
  2. Avoid carbonated drinks. Carbon dioxide found in carbonated beverages stays in your stomach, causing bloating.
  3. Drink peppermint teas and peppermint-flavored waters. Peppermint is a homeopathic remedy that sooths and relaxes your stomach and digestive tract muscles, naturally relieving abdominal bloating.
  4. Skip salty foods. Foods that contain excessive sodium make your body retain water. Water retention makes you look bigger and puffier all over.
  5. Do not chew gum. Chewing gum also causes you to swallow air. Sugarless gum contains sorbitol, a sugar substitute, which your intestinal bacteria turns into gas giving you that awful, lower belly pouch.
*You can purchase Da Vinci’s Chewable Mega Probiotic Plus on my shopping cart at Note it customarily takes 3 or so weeks for your intestinal tract to “deflate” along with decreased cramping. Keep the faith and make sure you are saying well hydrated with water, not carbonated drinks such are soda.

For more core performance and flat belly training tips, join my free, Make Healthy A Lifestyle online health magazine at

Monday, January 12, 2009

Is Back Surgery the Solution for Back Pain?

I thought I would post this article, "For Back Pain Sufferers, Surgery Isn't Always the Answer", in todays LA Times Health Section.  I am not a proponent of back surgery.  I believe physical therapy that focuses on core strengthening, flexibility--especially your hip flexors, hamstrings, and your chest muscles--and keeping great postural alignment is the key to managing back pain.  I have had good success working with back pain clients practicing my Crunchless Abs Methodology, and now incorporating my new, Core Transformer resistance training tool.

In 1991 I was involved in a traumatic ski accident that changed my life.  I herniated two discs in my neck, and completely tore my left knee ACL, MCL, and medial meniscus.  (I had an existing L4-5 bulging disc that completely herniated from tumbling down the slope.)  I hit my head on some rocks, then, blacked out.  I received a fairly significant concussion too.  The next morning I remember waking, feeling as if I was living in a completely different body.

My Crunchless Abs Methodology including my workout DVDs is a result of my peak performance core and back rehab athletic training drills I began practicing with my elite athletes and myself.  Like I said, I am not a big believer in back surgery.  I am able to keep my clients and myself pretty much pain free by practicing what I preach daily.  That is keeping proper alignment by functional, core performance training.

How about you?


Deb's Wedding

Went to one of my BFF's wedding, Debra Gold and Dr. Pete Spitzer, M.D.  The wedding was magical.  Debra is one of the top publicists for the card and gift industry, Debra Gold and Company.

I had the pleasure of sitting with my dear writer friend, Carolyn Howard-Johnson,

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Deepak Chopra on Ellen Degeneres

Wanted to share this recent guest appearance by Dr. Deepak Chopra on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.  I invite you watch:

Check out this month's Make Healthy A Lifestyle's online health club's new issue at, which includes an inspirational article about Setting Your Intentions by Dr. David Simon, M.D., co-founder of the Chopra Center in San Diego, California.  As always I've included more awesome abs moves created to sculpt your abs flat and sexy by pulling all the core muscles in tight around your spine/waist--just like a girdle--and of course they're Crunchless:)!

Make Healthy A Lifestyle today by making health care, self-care.


Linda LaRue, RN, MEd, ATC

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sharing With Writer's Peer Award

Wanted to thank the Sharing with Writers Group, for naming this blogspot to their "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites".  I am honored.  

For all you other writer's out there, I recommend buying my friend, Carolyn Howard-Johnson's book, The Frugal Book Promoter.  

With gratitude,


Top Trainer Tip: Are You an Emotional Eater?

Studies show that emotional eaters typically consume 3 times more food when they are stressed out than than under balanced, normal circumstances.  This is why I recommend that you journal your emotions along with your food consumption when you are upset.  This will help you make healthier choices including what and how much you eat, as it will connect your brain to your belly.

For more Top Trainer Tips including ab exercises that will give you flat, sexy abs, join my free, Make Healthy A Lifestyle at

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Top Trainer Green Tip: Limit Animal Protein

Did you know that limiting your meat intake significantly helps the environment?  Replacing one 3.5 ounce beef serving, one egg, and 1-ounce serving of cheese daily with produce, beans, and whole grain (which gives your body all the protein it requires) spares the need for 40 pounds of fertilizer each year, and the dumping of 11,400 pounds of animal manure.

For more Top Trainer Tips, join my free, Make Healthy A Lifestyle online health club at

Monday, January 5, 2009

105 Calorie Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa

There is nothing more comforting when it’s cold or nasty outside than a cup of hot cocoa. Using a high-grade, unsweetened dark chocolate powder gives this hot cocoa a rich, deeply intense, chocolate flavor without the Calories. I recommend using a 60 to 70% unsweetened dark cocoa powder. You can readily find and purchase high-grade cocoa powder at Costco (or try a restaurant supply store) for a reasonable price, and cocoa lasts forever.

  • 1 T 60 to 70% unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 capful of pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup 2% milk
  • 3 packets of Splenda or 1 tsp of sucralose
1. Heat cocoa powder, vanilla, milk, and 3 packets of Spenda or sucralose in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Stir well with a small whisk until your desired temperature, making sure not to bring to boil.
2. Pour into cup. *You may add 1 T of nonfat real dairy whipped topping, as it is a free food.
Serving size: ½ cup. Nutrition Content: 105 Calories, 9.5g fat, 7g protein, 11 carbohydrates, 70g sodium.

For more high protein, low-fat, and low Calorie healthy recipes, join my free,
Make Healthy A Lifestyle online fitness club at


Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008 Wrap-Up Review with Uncle Jay

My friend and client, Dr. Susan Berman, who is one of my testimonials for the Crunchless  Abs TV commercial, sent me this very funny vlog,  Check it out.  I hope you have a few chuckles and giggles like me.

Friday, January 2, 2009

It's Monday, Time to Weigh-In

Its a New Year and a new Monday.  Time to step on the scales to weigh yourself, set your health, fitness, and weight loss intentions, then, put them in action today.  Visit my free, Make Healthy A Lifestyle online health club at for great tips that will help you achieve your health, fitness, and weight loss goals.  

If your goal is weight loss, I recommend buying my SOUPer Slim Diet ebook now--not later--no more procrastinating.  Set your intentions to begin your New Year's weight loss and fitness resolution goals now.  Do it for you and your loved ones too. 

Take a deep breath, muster your resolve, and Make Healthy A Lifestyle.  If the number on the scale is not making you happy, channel your unhappiness into making positive choices and actions.  (Emotional, over-eating will only make you fatter, not fitter.  Trust me I know...)

I wish you the best of health,


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome to 2009! Time to Make Healthy A Lifestyle...

Welcome to 2009! Although many of us are experiencing challenges financially, I am heartened greatly as we are ushering into office our new President-Elect, Barack Obama. I have great cause to hope for a better future. Imagine, just a little over a few years ago, who would have thought that a junior senator of color would have the intent and audacity to become our next president? That’s why I’ve decided to include articles in this month’s free, Make Healthy A Lifestyle, my health and fitness club, that will help you set your intentions then, how to successfully achieve them like our awe-inspiring, new president. (Did you know that Hussein, the president’s middle name, means hope in Arabic?)

I’ve also included a couple of my favorite, cheese and chocolate, cold weather high protein, low Calorie snacks.  These delicious and healthy snacks, such as my dark chocolate hot cocoa that's only 105 Calories, will fill you up and satisfy you too. I believe you can cut Calories and lose weight without making severe dietary sacrifices. It’s why I created my comforting, money and time saving, eco-friendly ebook, The SOUPer Slim Diet

I invite you to join my “Make Healthy A Lifestyle” online fitness club. I hope this New Year you achieve all your intentions this year—especially your intentions to lose weight, get fit, and truly “Make Healthy A Lifestyle”. As always my Crunchless Abs core workout DVDs are the perfect way to begin practicing your new workout intentions, and no more Crunches!

Be sure to read next month’s Make Healthy, which I will dedicate to All About Abs, which will give you a day-by-day game plan about how to physically achieve your new, weight loss and exercise intentions. I’ll also feature some hot, Crunchless Abs tantric yogini-Pilates moves guaranteed to spice up your sex life.

Happy New Year,


P.S. I invite you to email me at with your requests for future health and fitness articles. Let me know your progress, and plz tell all your friends to join my online club, which is free—my favorite four-letter word:)