Two simple and effective tips to get you Looking Hot for the Holidays!

Hey Clients, Friends and Family.

Here are your next two tips to get you looking and feeling your best for the holidays.

Exercise Tip: It’s all about the effort!
So today one of our clients was mentioning to me how much she loved a certain Elliptical trainer over a different model. I asked her what was the main difference. She said she really loved working out on her favorite machine because it’s so much easier, hardly feels like she’s working out at all and yet, she burns the most calories on that machine. Do you see the problem here?!

Let me explain to you how caloric expenditure is calculated on cardio machines. Each manufacturer uses a mathematical algorithm to estimate calories burned based on a few variables such as duration and intensity. However there are no Cardio machine police! So manufacturers are free to be as generous as they want with these formulas. And of course, most understand that if their machine reports a higher caloric expenditure, more people will want to use it and therefore they will sell more units.

Bottom line – if a particular machine or exercise feels harder, it is harder. And therefore if you are working harder, you are burning more energy and calories and that translates into more fat burned!

Remember this – if you are going easier, you are going to have to go longer. And if you are going harder, you can go shorter to burn equivalent calories. So mix it up people and train your entire system!

Nutrition Tip: First thing in the morning, before you put any food in your mouth, drink at least 8-16 ounces of cool, refreshing water. Flush out your system and start your day off on the right foot!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

One Exercise and One Nutrition Tip that you can commit to right now!

Hey clients, friends and family.

Instead of waiting until New Year’s to resolve to carve out time for yourself so you can look and feel your best, let’s make a commitment to ramp it up right now. Why wait? There’s no better time than today. Plus, we’ll get you looking and feeling amazing for the holidays!

So over the new few weeks, I’m going to regularly offer you a quick and easy exercise and nutrition tip. Some will be basic – stuff you’ve heard before but a good reminder! And others may offer a new approach that may help you lock into your program.

Make one small change at a time – it’s often the small but consistent changes that bring forth the biggest results!

Exercise: It’s Wednesday and many people experience the mid-week workout slump. So if this is the case for you or you recognize another day during the week when you really struggle with sticking to your workout, try a different approach. Plan something on this day that you would never want to miss. Maybe you schedule a tennis match or bike ride with your best friend. Or maybe you plan to always take your favorite instructor’s class this day. Maybe you sign up for a new program like Zumba or Dance lessons that you would absolutely love. Perhaps you schedule an appointment with your trainer so you absolutely can’t miss your workout. Or maybe you need a restorative day so you schedule in a Yoga class or stretching session. Bottom line – plan do something that you know you will 100% commit to and soon the day that you once struggled with will become your most consistent day.

Nutrition: If you struggle with portion control, try Psyllium Husks as a method to decrease appetite. Psyllium seed husks are indigestible in humans and are often used as a source of dietary fiber. They are used to relieve constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and improve regular GI transit. Some recent research is also showing them to be promising in lowering cholesterol, controlling diabetes and providing a sense of fullness therefore helping with portion control and weight management. You can purchase Psyllium Husks powder that you mix with water and consume 10-15 minutes before your meal. You can pick up at your Natural Food Store and/or the Natural section in most grocery stores.

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Read this before Thanksgiving!

Many of us are still dealing with Halloween Candy and now Thanksgiving is about a week away. It’s enough to take even the most-disciplined, die-hard exerciser off track.

In America, Thanksgiving dinner goes hand-in-hand with an all-out gorge until you’re about to burst. A retreat to the couch follows because you’re just too stuffed to move. It doesn’t have to be this way – everyone always regrets it afterwards. Remember last year’s moans and groans “Ugh, I shouldn’t have ate the second helping of stuffing and sweet potatoes!”

This year, we’re going to help you be more pro-active:

It’s estimated that the average American can consume 5000+ calories on Thanksgiving Day. Most people enjoy a bigger than usual breakfast, Thanksgiving meal and we can’t forget the left-overs later in the evening. Now if you were an Olympic Athlete this wouldn’t be too much of a problem but since the only activity most people do on Thanksgiving is the walk from the kitchen to the TV, Thanksgiving can wreck havoc on your health.

Plan a Healthy Thanksgiving Meal:
If you’re in charge of dinner or helping to plan, keep these tips in mind:

• Schedule the meal earlier in the day. Thanksgiving Dinner between 2:00-5:00 will allow some time for the body to digest the heavy meal before you hit the sack. Or do Thanksgiving the European way – schedule Thanksgiving as an all- day celebration and serve small dishes every hour or so. This seems so much healthier and civilized than mom busting her butt all day long preparing a meal that is consumed ravenously in 5 minutes. Spread the calories out throughout the day and you’ll be less likely to feel awful.
• Minimize the carb overload – Instead of preparing sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing and rolls choose only one or two of these dishes. It will save a ton of calories and you’ll feel less ‘stuffed!’ (pun intended!)
• While guests are arriving, have a vegetable platter available for them to munch on
• Serve a delicious soup as the appetizer
• Serve a beautiful salad
• Serve two or three different types of vegetables at the table
• Use skim or semi-skim milk for all your recipes
• Serve water with dinner

You can have Desert: But before desert is served, insist everyone go for a beautiful walk around the neighborhood. Or plan some fun activities while you allow your body to process the meal. For example, plan a fun game of charades, break out the WII, or maybe pull out the Holiday decorations and have the family help get your house looking festive. Or maybe earn some brownie points with mom, grandma or Aunt Jane by raking some leaves.

Get your workout in: Head to the gym for a quick workout (many are open for limited hours including our facilities in Portland and Vancouver WA) or take a run, walk or bike ride around the neighborhood. If you’ve got family visiting, do it first thing in the morning before people wake-up. A workout will actually make you feel better and help to suppress your appetite so you’re less likely to overeat. And consider ramping up your workouts over this next week so you’re expending a little more energy in anticipation of the increased caloric intake next Thursday.

You can still enjoy a wonderful dinner and atmosphere without having everyone feeling bloated and horrible for the rest of the evening and suffering a Thanksgiving Hang-over the next day!

Forward this email to everyone you are celebrating Thanksgiving with this year so you’re all on the same page!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

When was the last time you saw a guy in a wheelchair Bungee Jump?

We place our own limits on ourselves. When I lived in Vancouver BC, I had the fortunate honor to be Rick Hansen’s Trainer – the man who wheeled around the world raising millions of dollars for spinal cord research. He told me once he had to decide to focus on the 1000 things he couldn’t do anymore because he didn’t have the use of his legs or the 100,000 things he still could do. And he has gone on to live the most incredible life inspiring so many others that you can do anything if you want it bad enough.

He just recently Bungee Jumped in Whistler BC. You’ve got to watch this clip. It is both hilarious and inspirational showing you that you can do anything when you put your mind to it! It will be a highlight of you day!

If you can’t see the clip above, clip on this direct link.

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you are local, please join me this weekend for our 3 hour Exercise-a-thon to collect food and clothing for a local shelter. Click below for more details. We’d love to see you there.

When was the last time you had Geese chasing you?!

Happy Monday!

I just finished presenting at the fabulous CanFitPro fitness conference in Vancouver BC. I often hear from clients that they have a hard time keeping up with their fitness routine when they travel. I always explain to them that if you want something bad enough, if your health and fitness is really that important to you, then there are NO EXCUSES! That’s right – no excuses. It doesn’t matter if you’re tired, jet-lagged, your hotel doesn’t offer a fitness facility, or you can’t find a gym in the area – you’ve got to make it happen.

For example, today it was raining in Vancouver BC so it would have been easy to talk myself out of going for a run. But I went anyways and here’s what happened. First, I found a beautiful trail along the river that was a breath of fresh air and once I got outside, the rain didn’t bother me at all and it was actually quite incredible. I would have never got to experience this had I not left my hotel. Then I stumbled across the new 2010 Olympic Oval being built and was able to run all around it and check out how awesome it was. That was pretty cool. And then on my way back there was this group of Canadian Geese hanging out by the trail. It felt so nice to connect with nature. And then as I ran by the geese, a few proceeded to chase me and nip at my butt. I think they were mad that I moved to the states! 🙂 So anyways, had I not gone out for my run, I would not have experienced that exciting adventure!

Bottom line, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you need to do something to move your body today. Don’t ask yourself “Should I workout today?” That’s the wrong question because the answer will always be yes. Instead ask yourself “WHAT should I do to move my body today so that I can look and feel my absolute best!”

Have a fabulous week!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you’re starting to look for good stocking stuffers for the holidays, one of my books might inspire one of your loved ones to get off the couch. Click below for more details.

Happy & Healthy Halloween

Happy (& Healthy) Halloween

Halloween is on Saturday and although it’s so fun to dress up, as fitness professionals it’s not one of our favorite holidays. The last thing our kids need is more sugar, fat and a candy binge! So how can you promote moderation and a healthy diet without coming off as the world’s worst parents?!

Go against the norm: The American Dietetic Association offers the following suggestions for nutritious Halloween goodies. You may not be the favorite Halloween house on your block but at least you can feel good about the fact that you’re not sending your neighbors’ kids into sugar oblivion!
• Mini rice cereal bites
• Packages of trail mix
• Cereal or energy bars
• Small boxes of raisins
• Small packages of dried fruit
• Sugar-free gum
• Mini juice boxes

Does it have to be candy? Many kids would enjoy just as much some cool, new Halloween pencils or pens, spooky stickers, tattoos, or spider rings.

Control Consumption: If you leave it up to the kids, they’ll have half their candy eaten before bed-time on Saturday night! Instead, sit down with their stash, and separate it into small sized snack pouches that limit how much candy they have per day. Not that we’re saying that kids need candy every day but at least it’s a start! Explain to them clearly how much and when candy can be consumed. For example, you may set limits that prevent candy intake before bed or in the morning before school. But you may allow a small snack bag only after they eat their nutritious lunch.

In Oregon and Washington, 24.5 percent of 8th graders are overweight or at risk for becoming overweight and this number is increasing every year. As parents and teachers, we need to limit children’s consumption of candy year-round so now is a good time to discuss the benefits of a healthy diet and the ramifications of an unhealthy one.

Move their bodies: The rise in childhood obesity is partly due to the fact that kids are just not moving their bodies as much as they need to. Computers, video-games, TV and the fact that only 54.8 percent of Oregon eighth graders participate in daily PE is wrecking havoc on our kids’ health. So take this weekend as an opportunity to promote an active lifestyle and get them outside for a hike, a long walk or a bike ride. Their bodies will thank you for it!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Don’t buy Halloween Candy yet!

If you haven’t purchased Halloween Candy yet, don’t do it until Saturday. Because otherwise you know what will happen. You’ll probably end up eating half of it between now and then and will have to go out and buy more!

If you already have purchased, then put it somewhere very inconvenient to access. For example, put it in the garage on the highest shelf or in the attic that you would need to use a ladder to get at. Or store it at your neighbors house – just make sure you tell them they can’t eat any of it either!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Nutrition Principle #8 to Losing Weight and Looking & Feeling your Best

Nutrition Habit #8 – Avoid or Limit alcohol in your Diet

I’m probably not going to be very popular after today’s posting…

Although alcohol is low in fat content, it is very high in empty calories. In addition, alcohol activates the enzyme that uptakes fat from our bloodstream and stores it in our fat cells. Therefore any food you consume in combination with alcohol will more likely end up in our fat storage depot areas like our hips, thighs and abs. And finally as we all know, alcohol lowers our inhibitions making us more likely to make poorer choices – including poorer food choices! So practice moderation in this area.

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Nutrition Principle #7 to Losing Weight and Looking & Feeling your Best

Nutrition Habit #7 – Eliminate any unhealthy temptations from your environment (work, home, car) and replace with healthy alternatives.

This is one of the most important principles for me. If you’re like most people myself included, if it’s there staring you in the face, you’ll eat it. Make it more difficult to access the foods that stumble you and sabotage your efforts. Eliminate the following from your environment:

*Cookies, chocolate bars, pastries, candy and any high-calorie, sweetened snack foods
*Salty foods such as potato chips, pretzels, taco chips, crackers, and other packaged munchies
*White bread, white rolls, white buns
*Ice cream and high-sugar frozen deserts
*High-fat spreads and dips
*Sugared soft drinks and beverages
*Alcoholic beverages
*Any food that can be classified as junk food or that you habitually binge on

Do you need a kitchen make-over?

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Nutrition Principle #6 to Losing Weight and Looking & Feeling your Best

Nutrition Habit #6: Commit to Shopping at least once per week and stocking up on healthy choices.

What happens if you get home and you are starved and there is nothing to eat? You are more likely to choose a less-healthy item or dial up a take-out restaurant and order something high in fat and calories. If you want to commit to a healthy diet, you have got to commit to setting up a framework for success. This includes planning a trip to the grocery shop weekly and then potentially one or two smaller trips to the store or Farmer’s Market to top up on fresh fruits and veggies. You can not expect to adhere to a healthy diet without making this very important commitment to yourself.

Shop from a grocery list prepared when you are not hungry or stressed out
Determine exactly what you need for a particular period of time. This is where meal-planning for the week ahead really helps. For example, keep what you’ll eat for breakfast, lunch and snacks pretty simple and consistent. Then decide what you’ll eat for dinners each night. For example, you might decide Monday you’ll make a home-made vegetarian pizza. Tuesday, you’ll make salmon, vegetables and rice. Wednesday, you’ll do a vegetable and pasta marinara and salad. Thursday, you’ll do a shrimp and vegetable stir-fry. Friday, you’ll eat out. Saturday, you’ll do chicken or veggie burgers, vegetables and salad. And Sunday, you’ll make healthy burritos. Then buy what you need to make each meal throughout the week. Don’t overbuy – Be careful of bulk buying. And try never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry!

As soon as you get home, plan time to clean, cut and chop fresh produce to ensure it’s ready to be eaten (unless you buy the pre-cut and washed). Cook-a-thons will also make sticking to your nutrition plan a lot easier. Opening the fridge to find a bowl of chili, home-made soup, pasta salad or chopped vegetables will make it more likely that you grab for these healthier items.

Great foods to put in your shopping cart:

Whole Grains:
Cold cereal – Cherrios, , Bran, Granola
100% whole grain bread or English muffins (or other bread products)
100% whole wheat pitas
100% whole wheat tortillas
100% whole wheat pizza shells
Brown Rice
100% whole wheat pasta

Meats (unless you are a vegetarian then chose vegetarian options!):
Skinless, boneless chicken breast halves and/or frozen cut-up chicken for stir-fries
Skinless salmon filets / 1 whole fish
Skinless turkey breasts
Sliced cooked salmon, turkey or chicken
White porkchops
Ground turkey or lean beef
Frozen chicken or vegetable meat patties


Skim milk or low-fat soy/rice/oatbran milk fortified with vitamin D and calcium
1 bag of part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
Container of feta-cheese
Low-fat probiotic Yogurt cups

Frozen Foods:
Bags of frozen veggies – green beans, peas, broccoli, corn, stir-fry
Bags of frozen fruit – blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
Frozen Meals – Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice – When you’re too tired to cook or in a hurry, these are life savers. They are low in salt, calories, fat and Trans-fats plus they’re actually quite yummy!

Canned/Jarred Foods:

Soups – look for low sodium
Tomato Sauce
Kalamata Olives
Sun-dried tomatos
Soy-nut peanut butter or all-natural peanut butter (no trans fat, no added sugar)

Bottled Water/Flavored Water
100% Orange with pulp/Cranberry/Grapefruit Juice (fortified with calcium, magnesium and Vit. D)
V-8 (low sodium)
Green Tea

Fresh Produce: Fruits/Vegetables
You’ve got complete freedom in this area. Buy what you love. Here’s some must haves…
3-5 bags of salad mix like Romaine, Spinach or Mixed Greens (make it easy to make salads everyday)
Bag of cut-up stir-fry veggies
Pre-cut and washed veggies – carrots, broccoli, sweet peas, cauliflower, celery, asparagus, mushrooms (make it easy to eat your veggies!)
Peppers – red, yellow, orange, green
Apples/Pears/Grapes/Bananas/Oranges/Grapefruit/Tangerines – plus whatever is in season

Olive oil
Soy sauce – low sodium
Balsamic vinegar
Salad dressing/Salad spritzers – vinaigrettes are a great choice
Marinara sauce
Other favorite spices


Rice Cakes
Nuts – raw walnuts/almonds unsalted– don’t buy too much. And once you get them home, put them in mini-ziplock snack bags separated 10 to a bag
Dried fruits – apricots, cranberries, apples…
If you have a real sweet tooth and are looking for healthier options to prevent the 500 plus calorie dessert binges, try the following:
Yogurt and granola
Weight-watcher deserts – they typically keep them at 100 calories per serving
Pudding cups – 60 calories per cup
Gum/Small bag of hard candies – when you feel a craving coming on, chew on some gum or pop a hard candy and suck on it for a while. It will often do the trick.
Frozen yogurt – but just buy the smaller cartons to prevent eating a whole gallon

I hope this helps give you some direction for your next grocery trip.

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan