Fit for Life


In America, eating, food and exercise is one of life’s favorite pastimes.  Every culture has a different way of enjoying life.  Balance is the key to a healthy quality lifestyle.  Today, people are reaching the age of 75, but what is their quality of life?   e.g. People in Netherlands, are riding bikes to run errands in their 30’s and are still riding up to their 70’s. They are physically fit and usually they’re not on much medication.

We New Yorkers live in the fast line compare to other areas. This lifestyle makes it difficult to plan a healthy and balanced meal. Parents are working, children have to travel to school and unfortunately we have many corner stores in our neighborhoods that don’t carry fresh food.  Instead, we are constantly grabbing a bag of cookies or potato chips.  A slice of pizza or a burger and french fries, contribute to  making us fat and unhealthy.  Due to the excessive use of carbohydrates and sugar, in the body, there is not enough  insulin stored  and  we are now experiencing an overwhelming effect of diabetes with our younger generations. It has also been reported, due to the excessive protein taken in daily by young girls, they are having their periods earlier. Some girls are starting to menstruate as young as 7 years old.. This may be due to  the hormones that are being injected in our meats. Once upon a time cows were fed mainly  grass, but things have changed considerably.


Beauty can not be achieved without sufficient amount of sleep. If you haven’t slept well you will wake up with droopy eyelids and will look tired. Sunglasses and lipgloss can help for a little while to have a cute look. But when you sleep the body heals itself, and you will LOOK, FEEL and ACT better. It is imperative to get a good night rest, of at least 6 hours, but 8 hrs is ideal. With the radio-active waves that surrounds us daily,  we don’t realize how much it effects us. Look around you and try to eliminate devices that may impair your ability to  sleep, e.g.. TV, cell phone, ipad, computer, and or lamps.  If you continually lose sleep, it is hard to catch up try to have the best sleep you can when you can. When you attend college you will have a good reason to lose sleep because you will want to study hard, in order to get good grade point average.


Do you think exercising makes a difference in someone looking attractive?  Everything you do shows on the outside. If you’re riding a bike every week, won’t your legs become stronger and leaner?  If you do squats your butt will become firm and your legs stronger. The same with helping your mom with the groceries, your arms will get stronger. If you are not running in gym class every week and you try running for the bus, you will be out of breath and exhausted.  This is your heart letting you know it doesn’t get enough exercise. You need to start off with a brisk walk and work your way up to a jog, to strengthen your heart muscles.  If you don’t like running, take up a sport like swimming, tennis, lacrosse, and/ or  cheer-leading.  If you don’t exercise, the weight will stay on especially if you’re not eating correctly.  The most important thing is a good attitude, enthusiasm, and playing on a team, to help you to achieve a healthier body.


This is one of my favorite pastimes, especially living in New York. Queens may just be the most multi-cultural borough in the world.  Every nationality in the world lives in my community.  I can eat at a new restaurant everyday and experience a new culture. I’m always asked how do I look the way I do?  People believe it is heredity.  I have been blessed with good genes, but rollerskating, playing tennis, swimming, going to gym and eating properly does help and makes a difference.  You are your mommy and daddy, so you will have attributes that you just can’t change.  But on the other hand, if you know your family’s health history it doesn’t have to be yours.

As a teenager it is so important to eat at least 1700 calories daily.  This figure varies with the amount of energy you burn.  If you’re scrubbing a floor, and or climbing a mountain, chances are your body is using more calories. You may need more food on that day, than if you were reading a book or hanging with friends at the park.

It is so important to obtain the 1700 calories daily from all Food Groups.pastedGraphic.pdf









This picture above has been our guide to American eating for many years, but according to the Zone by Dr. Barry Sears, he has re-calibrated the composition of American food.






So many of us want to lose weight but we have realize it that the core problem 90% of the time is an emotional one.  In some cases it could be a thyroid or medical condition but usually we are using food to try to work things out to make us feel good.  Also, living in an urban city where the pace of life is soooo busy that fast food is easy because making time to shop and cook can be a challenge.

It is always good to be conscious of what you’re eating. It can give you an idea sometimes what might be going on emotionally.

Are you craving:

(Salt) Chips, crackers, doodles, …anxiety

(Cold)  Icecream ..                     comfy

(Sweet) Chocolate, sweets…       love

Become calorie-conscious!

Don’t be fooled by the innocent appearance of those small bite-size snacks.

?????loaded!!!  ????With  what?

Let’s count calories!

Several handful of peanuts      145

Chocolate milkshake                500  **** Doesn’t it depend on where and what type of milk?

Jelly doughnut                          400

Pizza                                        600

Apple pie                                  345  ****  slice/whole pie

Ice Tea                                     300  ***** size


A lower-calorie snack can give you more energy and clear skin.

Low-fat Pretzels

raw baby carrot

apple, grapes, strawberries

subway tuna sandwich

Greek yogurt

***** What about a treat if you’re craving sweet?


Teenagers need extra nutrients to support the adolescent growth. Growth spurts begin at the age of 10 or 11 and reaches a peak at 12, for girls. The growth increases height, as well as hormonal changes, affecting every body organ including the brain.  Iron is important with the onset of menstruation with girls.  The increase in skeletal mass also boost teens requirements for calcium and bone structure.  In my 30’s, I learn’t that I had osteoporosis and had the body of a 65 year old on medication.  I started changing my diet and working out with light weights and being more in tune with my body and health. Being proactive has not only benefited me health wise, it has since been reversed to osteopenia.

When preparing to exercise prepare your body with fuel.  Just like if you had a car, you wouldn’t drive it on empty. By doing so, it will start effecting the engine and you will need an oil change sooner and increase the possibility of a new engine in 5 years instead of 10.

Before exercising, swimming or yoga, do not have anything in your stomach for at least an hour before.

After Exercising

Always prepare something to eat.  Try to eat at least 45 minutes after.


Water with electrolytes (gatorade)

Protein drink


Protein bar

Meal with no sugar   ****(carbs?)

Stretching & Breathing

It is very important and helps brings oxygen to your body. It expands your lungs and stretches your back.  Try stretching arms over your head and reaching for the sky.

Tummy Trimmer

Having three good meals a day and running or jogging will get your body to burn off excess calories. Doing sit-ups alone, does not help, you will only strengthen and build muscle under the fat.  By eliminating fried foods, sodas and taking in less sugar, you will lose the weight.


Get a ball against the wall and put the ball in your mid back, and do 5 squats/ 3 sets. You will achieve stronger legs and butt.  Work up to 10 squats slowly.

Spiritual Muscles.

Who has spiritual muscles?  Are you keeping yourself spiritually fit? Going back to the first commandment, God called us to love God with our heart, soul and body, and treat and love our neighbors, as we would like to be treated.  We always fall short on getting spiritually dressed.

Just as we feed our body   =   food, from the earth (not processed)

Learn new things for our soul =   dance, piano, singering

Listening for God’s whispers spirit =   spirit, intuition

Do you take time everyday to stop for a minute and say “thank you God” or do you say a prayer for your family or teacher or friends.  Do you read the Bible, Koran, Torah, or a book that has spiritual teachings?

***** (Do you need this?) How do you usually know that your making the right choices during the day?  What choices or decisions have you made when you could have first spoken to your mom, dad, aunt, or teacher?Then talked it over with God. Try to avoid being anxious for nothing.  It is through prayer will your anxiety be relieved and prayers answered.

Shopping and Cooking Suggestions has many food suggestion ideas for healthier lifestyle

Biscuits.. use vegetable oil instead of butter and skim milk. Use rice milk and or almond milk instead of regular whole milk.

Macaroni and cheese – use low-fat cheese and a different type of milk ***(such as?)

*** (What kind of greens? List) Greens – smoked skin free turkey, fat-free bacon bits or liquid smoke for taste.

*****?????Dressings - add broth, skim fat drippings, add herbs and orange juice instead of butter or lard.

Sweet potato pie- mash sweet potato with orange juice, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon and only one egg, leave out the butter.

Crispy chicken or fish- Use Bisquick, cornmeal and bake. Add seasonings that you like, be sure to take the skin off before seasoning.  Use a nonstick pan or oil spray instead of butter. Bake, steam roast, broil, stew or boil instead of frying.


Before beginning  the session make sure the week before that the youth are prepared to exercise.

Bring pants to stretch in or sneakers for run.

This portion of the class can be done by a Yoga, Physical Trainer and Athlete.

Ask each student  to share their choice of exercise and have them explain why they like this particular exercise.

Ask if  there is anyone in their  family that have any health issues.

e.g.. high blood pressure, diabetes

This is a good time to stress the importance that what your family’s DNA is not necessarily yours.  You can make healthy choices regarding:



that will add up to a healthy lifestyle

Bring in snack food from a local corner store, e.g.. potato chips, cookies, soda, drinks.

Discuss average sugar a day   40 grams

average sodium a day   200

(If you can bring in someone to discuss a food labels this would be a good time to show

how to read calories, e.g.. a can of soda can have up to 2.5 servings which means they are

actually drinking up to 15 tsps. of sugar in a soda.


Emphasize that everyone should include SCC in their basic routine

Start by Stretching, it is always important

Cardio… jumping jacks, jogging or even throwing a ball.

Core.. that is lifting the legs

Basic Exercise

  1. Start my stretching arms up
  2. Roll neck side by side
  3. Arm circles
  4. touch toes hold
  5. push – ups
  6. leg lifts
  7. if you have a ball you can put the ball between you and the all and do


Closing Activities


Name a food from 3 food categories

e.g..  eggs = protein

avocado = fat

cereal = grains