Osteoporosis: What It Is and How to Prevent and Treat It

Recently I overheard an older African-American woman tell a group of her friends that she "doesn’t drink milk or eat yogurt because [she] isn’t worried about osteoporosis". While it might've sounded funny to some, I was actually quite alarmed by this woman's statement, as she was obviously unaware of the real intricacies surrounding the development of this potentially debilitating condition.


Why You Need to Change Your Exercise Routine Regularly

Ever think to yourself, "I've been exercising regularly and eating right but I still haven’t lost the weight?" You're certainly not alone. Many people are finding their weight loss battle to be quite difficult in spite of their exercise and dieting efforts. Although weight loss is primarily a function of calorie management, whether you're exercising or dieting, there are many other factors that can influence your ability to lose weight.


Five Strategies for Eating Well with a Lung Condition

When compared to the average person, individuals with lung conditions (chronic bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema) use way more energy during breathing. Such breathing problems are primarily a result of narrowing and inflammation (swelling) of the lung's airways. In general, good nutrition is critical for good health and eating nutritious, well-balanced meals each day can play a significant role in the prevention of lung problems. Here are five healthy eating strategies that can help alleviate labored breathing and other symptoms of common lung conditions.


My Unintentional 20-Pound Weight Loss

I’ve been actively controlling my body weight for nearly 20 years and it isn’t easy as I’m a big-boned, pear-shaped woman who fights the disease of obesity every day. However, I’ve found great solace in managing my body weight and ultimately my health with sensible dietary strategies and a large volume of exercise. Over the years, I’ve learned some things about myself when it comes to eating:


Eating Unhealthy Foods and Losing Weight: Is This Even Possible?

A while back someone asked me "Is it at all possible to lose weight without eating vegetables, fruits and other healthy foods?" Believe it or not, my answer was a firm "YES!"

In fact, many people believe that losing weight requires continuous consumption of "healthy" foods but contrary to popular belief, healthy eating isn't at all necessary for weight loss. Weight loss is simply a matter of creating calorie deficits and this can easily be achieved with everyday consumption of unhealthy nutritionally devoid foods. Now, while it is possible to lose weight this way, it's definitely not a sensible long-term approach.


Building Sculpted Shoulder Muscles

The shoulders, or deltoids, are basically made up of three parts: the front, middle, and rear deltoids. To completely train the deltoids you must perform exercises that develop each of these parts. Strong deltoids are essential for performing many physical activities that require overhead arm motions like hanging curtains, painting, washing walls, swimming, and throwing.

Related Article: Six of the Best Exercises for Sculpting Lean Arms


Why We’re Really Sick: The Epidemic of Chronic Diseases


I’m a firm believer that humans are designed to be physically active and that not doing so creates energy imbalances within the body that ultimately contribute to obesity and other health problems. As evidence, over 500,000 people die each year from diseases linked to physical inactivity and obesity. Furthermore, rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain forms of cancer have all tripled over the past 30 years corresponding to decreasing levels of daily physical activity and increasing rates of obesity.


The Secret to Achieving Permanent Weight Loss in the New Year

For many people, January is the most important month of each year. It's the month when most of us feel renewed, refreshed and full of hope and promise. It is also the month during which people start working towards their goals to lose weight, get healthy and become physically fit. Unfortunately, without proper planning and foresight about 90 percent of these goals result in failure and this usually occurs by January 31st.

If you have resolved to lose weight in the new year, here are three tips for making your weight loss a success, permanently. 


Health and Fitness Tips: March

A Point to Ponder:

Your environment may not always support your efforts to be healthy but the fact of the matter is that you are in charge of your own lifestyle behaviors. Healthy living is all about choice.  You have many opportunities to make positive lifestyle choices about what you eat and what you do.  In order to be healthy in the long-term, you need to make the best choices whenever possible.  Remember this next the time you "SUPER SIZE IT" or take the elevator instead of the stairs.



Waiting to Exhale: My “Core Fusion” Experience

I’m a runner. I’m a weight lifter. I climb stairs on a regular. I’m as fit as I can be, right? Well of course, I’m Nina Cherie, PhD!

However, the art of muscle confusion never ceases to amaze me.

On May 22, 2013, I attended the Women’s Health Magazine and Exhale Spa’s “Fusion Fest” event in Chicago with the purpose of meeting with “The Next Fitness Star” finalist Tarrah Lee. I had also planned to get my workout on by taking some of the core classes offered by Exhale Spa.

Wow, was I in for a surprise.


How to Reduce the Appearance of a Pear Shape

If you have a pear shape you tend to carry excess weight in your lower body. Excess body fat can make the pear shape look highly exaggerated but a lack of muscle tone makes it look a lot worse. In order to really reduce the appearance of a pear shape you'll need to perform targeted resistance exercises that slim your lower body. Check out this clip for three of these exercises.  


Circuit Training: Research Proven Effective

If you’re looking for an enjoyable, efficient, and effective method of exercising that you can perform in the comfort of your own home, circuit training is something you may want to consider. Whether you’re just beginning an exercise program or you’re already well-trained and just trying to overcome a plateau in your exercise routine, circuit training is an excellent method of optimizing achievement of your physical fitness goals.


Are You Overestimating Your Daily Calorie Expenditure?

For those of you who regularly follow my blog, you’ll know that I often post images of my daily calorie expenditure by way of my Nike+ Fuelband. However, what you may not know is that I actually have a love-hate relationship with this device. While the Fuelband and similar fitness-tracking devices (Fitbit Flex and Jawbone Up) serve as great motivational tools that can greatly increase your level of adherence to regular physical activity and exercise, overestimating your daily calorie expenditure by way of these devices could hinder continued progress.

With that said, before you get overly excited about how many calories you burn each day, consider these facts.


Are You Eating Too Much Turkey?

Over the last 10 or so years I’ve observed a complete turkey takeover. I’m not talking about the traditional Butterball that dresses the holiday table or even the shaved lunchmeat that’s typically inserted between two slices of bread. I’m referring to the dramatic rise in turkey-based products that are heavily marketed towards people who, for whatever reason, choose to abstain from eating beef or pork.  


Infographic: Are Deceptive Food Labels Making America Fat?

Did you know that the average American eats and drinks about three pounds of sugar each week? To burn off that much sugar you’d actually have to run 2.8 laps around the planet earth. Is such overconsumption of sugar linked to American’s insatiable sweet tooth? Or, is this simply due to deceptive food and beverage labeling gimmicks that provoke misinformed purchases?


The Ultimate Cure For A Saggy Butt

Not satisfied with the lower half of your body, namely your rear end? Do you have a mild to severe deflation in this area with surrounding skin that appears loose and lax otherwise known as a "saggy butt". These days, more and more women are opting for expensive, invasive cosmetic butt enhancements to correct this situation as opposed to putting in a little hard work and dedication.


Building a Sculpted Chest

The chest muscles, or pectorals, are primarily made up of three parts: the upper, middle, and lower pectorals. To completely train the pectorals you must perform exercises that develop each of these parts. Strong pectorals are essential for performing many physical activities like pushing a shopping cart or a lawn mower, throwing, and serving in tennis. A strong chest is also crucial for shoulder stability. For women, toned and sculpted pectorals give an appearance of fuller, firmer, and shapelier breasts, which can greatly enhance the overall appearance of the upper body.

Related Article: Losing Weight Without Losing the Boobs


Stress: A Major Culprit Behind Weight Gain, Belly Fat, and Chronic Disease

Are you frequently exposed to stress due to work or school, conflicts with family or friends, or even while sitting impatiently in a traffic jam? Although such situations may seem harmless, with prolonged and repeated exposures these simple stressors can set off a progressive cascade of events leading to unhealthy weight gain, poor health and, ultimately, disease.


Seasons 52: A Dining Experience that Celebrates the Art of Eating and Living Well

Chicago is indeed one of the best cities for foodies, there’s no doubt about that. But, as a healthy foodie who lives nearly 40 minutes outside of the city, I’ve got to be really excited and enthused about a restaurant to make the commute. Prior to last week, there were only two restaurants in Chicago that have wowed me to the point of wanting to travel. Now, there’s a third – thanks to the grand opening of Seasons 52 in the North Bridge downtown area. 


Infographic: Shop Smart & Fill Up Your Cart: Your Healthy Grocery Shopping List

If you're trying to eat healthy but having a difficult time finding the right foods to buy, a trip to the grocery store can be quite intimidating. For weight management and overall good health, it’s important to eat a wide variety of food sources of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. For the most part, these foods should be relatively high in essential antioxidant vitamins and minerals. Luckily, your local grocery store houses hundreds of foods that meet these criteria but you have to know what to look for.


Wheatgrass Juice: An All-Natural Blood Tonic that Boosts Immunity

If you’ve visited your local health food store lately, you’ve probably seen fresh wheatgrass juice being sold at the juice bar. Wheatgrass juice is prepared by extracting juice from the mature sprouts of wheat seeds by way of a cold press juicer. When consumed regularly, this juice offers a multitude of health and nutritional benefits. Here are some of the many evidence-backed effects of wheatgrass juice.


East-West Curried Seafood Stew

Are you a fan of bouillabaisse? Well, prior to meeting my husband, I’d actually never had bouillabaisse, which is surprising since I’ve always been quite the foodie. Now, I’m somewhat of a connoisseur. Bouillabaisse is essentially a type of seafood stew that’s packed full of veggies, beans, herbs and spices. Using a pressure cooker to prepare such stew can substantially reduce your cooking time while also preserving all the savory flavors. Here’s a fun and delicious pressure cooker bouillabaisse recipe that’s perfect if you’re in the mood for something exotic: "East-West Curried Seafood Stew".


How to Perform the Military Press on a Swiss Ball

The military press is a great exercise for strengthening your shoulder muscles and it also works the triceps located in the back of your arm. By performing the military press on a Swiss ball you can really activate your core muscles, which improves balance and stability. Check out this video clip to learn how to perform the military press on a Swiss ball. 


Six Healthy Eating Habits that Promote Natural Hair Growth

Want to know why your hair isn’t growing? Are you experiencing excessive shedding, breakage or other forms of hair loss and don’t know why? While there are numerous inevitable factors associated with hair loss among women and men alike (genetics, aging and disease), in countless cases, poor diet is a major culprit. It’s true! Unbeknownst to many, certain nutrient imbalances can greatly affect the normal cycles of hair growth leading to unwanted signs of hair loss.


Delightful Pastries: An Enjoyable Healthy Eating Experience in Chicago

Is it at all possible to combine the words "nutritious" and "bakery" into a single sentence? Believe it or not, it is!

Last week I was invited to attend a tasting at Delightful Pastries, a popular Chicago bakery located in the historic Old Town neighborhood on the city’s North Side. Although this bakery has been widely popular among health conscious folks in the Chicagoland area for over a decade, it was the very first time I’d ever dined there.


Nutrition Tip: Understanding Serving Sizes

Numerous studies show that a lot of people overeat due to a misunderstanding of portion sizes compared to serving sizes. The "Serving Size" of a product is always displayed at the very top of its food label and is typically listed in ounces, tablespoons, cups, or other common units of measurement. There is also a grams reading in parenthesis, which indicates how much the serving size weighs.


Exercise Tip: A Great Way to Sculpt Your Glutes and Quads

Squats are one of the best exercises for working the muscles of your lower body, mainly your glutes and quads. If you have difficulty performing squats, try exercise ball squats. Exercise ball squats allow you to work your lower body muscles while providing added stability and support for your back and knees. You can perform exercise ball squats in a gym or at home.


Working Out for More Than 50 Minutes a Day May Lead to Early Death? Really?

A while back, I reviewed a syndicated article online suggesting that more than 50 minutes of endurance exercise "may lead to early death" due to overexertion of the heart. While I understand that writers are pressured by the need for a good headliner, the notion that longer duration exercise is hazardous to heart health is both inaccurate and highly misleading. This article is burdened by two primary misinterpretations and I’ll address both.


Cellulite: My Battle With The Bulge

A while back a young lady posed a question to me on Facebook regarding cellulite. Although I provided her with the answer she sought, I decided to dive a little deeper into this topic by providing some insight from my own personal experiences. I’ve battled cellulite all my life, especially during obesity in my teens and pregnancy as an adult. When coupled with my expertise, these experiences have given me a unique perspective on how to treat cellulite with simple lifestyle changes.


Three Effective Ways to Slim and Tone Your Inner Thighs with Dumbbells

When it comes to slimming the inner thighs and burning fat in this area many people think about those inner and outer thigh machines at the gym. Contrary to popular belief, there's no way to spot reduce inner thigh fat. However, you can perform targeted resistance exercises to sculpt the inner thigh muscles giving them a slimmer shapelier appearance. Check out this clip in which I demonstrate three that are highly effective. 


The Real Science Behind Weight Loss

I always emphasize that the most effective way to reduce excess body fat and maintain your overall health and fitness is to moderately reduce your daily calorie intake while engaging in cardiovascular (cardio) exercise and resistance (weight) training programs. Cardio exercise training is one of the most effective methods for increasing your daily calorie expenditure, which is an integral component of weight management. By burning excess calories and preventing/reducing fat storage, cardio exercise also improves your body composition—the makeup of your body in terms of the relative percentage of body fat to fat-free mass (muscle, bone, water, etc).  


Portion Size Essentials for Weight Management

Numerous studies show that a lot of people overeat due to a misunderstanding of portion sizes compared to serving sizes. It's important to understand that many pre-portioned foods actually contain multiple servings. Getting into the habit of controlling your portion sizes isn't as difficult as you might think. Here's a quick and easy guide for judging serving sizes for some of the more commonly underestimated foods.


How to Perform a High Number of Repetitions with Low Weights

Resistance training with low weights and a high number of repetitions is a great way to build muscle definition while improving your overall muscular endurance. Training this way is also great for boosting your metabolism, which promotes weight loss over time. Check out this video clip to learn what to use when performing resistance training using low weights and a high number of repetitions.


Hammer Curls

Hammer curls are great for sculpting the forearm muscles and they also works the biceps on the front of the arm (learn how well-developed biceps can reduce the appearance of jiggly arm flab by clicking here).

This exercise is very easy to perform. Simply stand or sit on an exercise ball while holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing in.

To complete the movement, curl the dumbbells towards your shoulders either simultaneously or alternately and then return to the starting position.

It’s important to keep your abdominal muscles engaged while performing this exercise.

You should also keep your elbows as close to your waist as possible during the movement (click here for more exercises that work the arms). 

For more of the latest and greatest in health, fitness, and nutrition, "Like" me on Facebook at Nina Cherie, PhD of Complete Health Solutions and follow me on Twitter at @NinaCheriePhD.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a physician for advice.

Before starting an exercise training program you should first make sure that exercise is safe for you.  If you are under the age of 55 years and generally in good health, it is probably safe for you to exercise.  However, if you are over 55 years of age and/or have any health problems, be sure to consult with your physician before starting an exercise training program.


Establishing a Weekly Workout Plan

People often ask me for advice and tips on starting a workout routine for weight loss, fitness, or general health. I always emphasize that the most effective way to lose weight and maintain your overall health and fitness is to moderately reduce your daily calorie consumption while engaging in cardiovascular (cardio) exercise and resistance (weight) training programs.


Spring Into Action With 3 Healthy Tips

How are those health-related New Year’s resolutions going? Are you losing weight? Have you reduced the amount of red meat in your diet? Have you cut back on alcohol?

Hopefully, your goals weren’t so lofty that reality has set in and forced you to abandon them. If this is the case, now it’s time to regroup and reevaluate your goals, develop a new and improved plan of action and jump back on the bandwagon. Don’t wait until next year.


Waterleaf: The Perfect Restaurant for the Nutritionally Conscious Foodie

If you’re ever in or around the Dupage County area in Chicago’s Western Suburbs you absolutely must check out one of my new favorite eateries – Waterleaf Restaurant. As a research scientist and true advocate of health and wellness, this wonderful establishment of modern fine dining encompasses a combination of three things I utterly love: academics, education, and of course, nutritiously delicious food. 


Building a Sculpted Back

The back is basically made up of three parts: the upper, middle, and lower back. To completely train the back you must perform exercises that develop each of these parts. The upper back includes the trapezius muscles (or traps) and the rear deltoids while the middle back is primarily comprised of the latissimus dorsi (or lats) and the rhomboids. Finally, the lower back is made up of several muscles collectively referred to as the erector spinae and is the most mobile part of the back allowing movements such as turning, twisting, or bending.

Related Article: 3 Ways to Rid Your Body of Stubborn Back Fat


10 Superfoods That Make Healthy Snacks for Kids

Healthy foods give kids the energy they need on a daily basis while also supplying the vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients that help their bodies and minds to develop and mature. Since most are constantly on the go with school and play, snack time is one of the absolute best times to introduce healthy foods into their diets. With that said, here are ten quick and convenient nutrient-rich foods that can greatly optimize physical growth, development and mental performance among children, adolescents and young teens alike.


The Gluten-Free Lifestyle: Is It Really a Fad?

Gluten-free eating is the latest craze among health enthusiasts and folks seeking to lose weight. In fact, if you’ve visited your local grocery store lately, you’ve probably noticed that the shelves are packed full of foods labeled as "gluten-free". Unfortunately, for a large majority of the population—say 90-95 percent—such gluten-free foods are an unnecessary investment.


The “Freshmen 15”: Six Simple Ways to Avoid Gaining Weight

With every passing year a new pool of incoming college freshmen are faced with the sudden risk of double digit weight gain commonly known as the "freshmen 15". While some folks call it fiction, the fact of the matter is that many students do experience weight gain during the first couple of years of college oftentimes due to a newly found food independence and subsequent changes in customary eating patterns, social influence, peer pressure and even stress. Given the ever-lurking threat of the dreaded freshmen 15, here's a crash course on avoiding all that unnecessary weight gain.


The Ideal Elliptical Stride for Working the Glutes

The elliptical trainer is an excellent low impact alternative to the treadmill in that you can get in a great full body workout without placing undo stress on your joints. Most elliptical trainers allow you to adjust the cross ramp angle to target the lower body muscle groups, including your legs, thighs, and glutes. Check out this clip to see the ideal elliptical stride for working the glutes. 


Seven Effective Strategies for Naturally Managing Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition among females between the ages of 12 and 45. Classic symptoms of PCOS include weight gain, insulin resistance leading to high blood sugar, hormonal imbalances (elevated testosterone), menstrual abnormalities, and infertility. For years, I've been advocating structured exercise training with strategic eating for many women with PCOS and have witnessed outstanding results.


Implementing Resistance Workouts for a Beautifully Healthy Face

Cleansers, moisturizers, toners and treatments come a dime dozen but healthy, beautiful facial skin starts from within. As you may already know, eating a diet comprised of protein-rich, vitamin-loaded, and antioxidant-dense foods, can greatly improve the clarity, texture, and overall appearance of your face (click here for 6 simple, delicious ways to get amazingly radiant skin). However, you might not know that combining such a well-balanced diet with regular resistance exercise is one of the most critical steps towards a beautiful face.


Incorporating Exercise Training Into Your Daily Routine

Exercise training is crucial for successful weight loss. Ideally, a weight loss program should consist of daily calorie expenditures of at least 250 calories a day through exercise training or other forms of physical activity. Exercises like jogging, running, bicycling, stair-climbing, and group exercise can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour while moderate-level physical activities like gardening, walking for pleasure, dancing, and recreational sports (tennis, basketball, and soccer) can burn up to 500 calories per hour.


Probiotics: The Friendly Bacteria

Probiotics are commonly referred to as "friendly" or "good" bacteria. They are naturally housed in fermented foods that have been either produced or preserved by the action of living compounds called microorganisms, which are essentially bacteria or yeast. However, they’re also housed in a wide variety of dietary supplements like pills and powders, many of which have been shown to offer benefits similar to probiotic-rich foods.


Nonsense of the Week: Research Confirms Long-Term Weight Loss is Almost Impossible, Please Stop It!

Just recently, I reviewed a press release of sorts shared by a member from my Facebook page suggesting that "it's nearly impossible to permanently lose weight." Well, it’s silly season again!

The fallacy in this bogus argument that permanent weight loss isn’t achievable lies in a serious misunderstanding of a critical truth – Permanent weight loss is not a destination, it’s a journey. In order to achieve long-term weight loss, the practice of weight management has to be sustained indefinitely.


What You Should Know About Carbs and the Glycemic Index

Over the last couple of decades carbohydrates (carbs) have been given a bad rap. Don't be misled by the hype. Carbs are a critical component of a healthy balanced diet, as they are the primary source of energy required to fuel all bodily functions during rest and exercise conditions. As such, it’s not the best idea to deprive your body of them. However, like anything else, too much of a good thing can be unhealthy.


Losing Weight Without Losing The Boobs

Many women are skeptical about weight loss for a fear that losing too much weight will reduce the size of their breasts. Since, a large majority of breast tissue is comprised of fat (adipose tissue) this is an understandable concern. During the initial stages of weight loss, women tend to lose fat in their breasts, especially if they have a pear shape tending to carry excess body fat in the buttocks, hips, and thighs.


3 Common Behaviors That Sabotage Healthy Eating

Your attempts to eat healthy can be thwarted by a lack of understanding of what makes foods "healthy" in the first place. Some foods are considered healthy because they promote proper functioning of the body while others are labeled "healthy" simply because they are lower in calories. It's important to understand that healthy foods are not always fair game and abusing them can do more harm than good when it comes to your efforts to eat healthy. Here are three common behaviors that can really sabotage healthy eating.   


How Exercise Helps In The Fight Against Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States. At the current rate, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Although breast cancer development is quite a complex process that is closely linked to genetic factors, evidence has long suggested that when coupled with regular screening examinations, healthy lifestyle choices can still greatly influence breast cancer occurrence and treatment as well as survival from the disease.


Dieting’s Done, Now Leave That Fat Behind For Good

Have you achieved a significant weight loss goal through dieting? If so, congratulations!

Now that you’ve lost the weight, how do you intend on keeping it off?

Have you developed a long-term weight maintenance strategy? Thinking of keeping your personal trainer on retainer for the rest of your life? Excited about opening up plastic wrapped entrées or gulping down meal replacement shakes for the next 20 years?


Is Aspartame Making You Sick and Fat?

I have a confession to make: When I drink coffee, I prefer to add an Equal low-calorie sweetener to it. Yes, that would be aspartame. And guess what? My reason for using an occasional packet of Equal has absolutely nothing to do with a desire to avoid carbs, spare calories, or even lose weight. Quite frankly, I just prefer the quick burst of sugariness that this particular sweetener provides in my coffee – only my coffee. That’s it!


Three Ways to Find a Gym and Make It Work For You

Just recently, I was asked to respond to a press release out of Richmond, California, detailing the experience of a Bay area woman asked to cover up while working out at a local Planet Fitness due to potential "gym intimidation". Surprisingly enough, this request was actually in direct adherence to this chain’s highly publicized no "judgment" policy, which doesn’t allow members to wear certain clothes or even perform certain exercises.


Two-Day Fasting: A Viable Option for Healthy Eating

Two-day fasting is a type of intermittent fasting regimen that’s associated with exceptionally high levels of adherence. What makes two-day fasting especially beneficial is that it encourages substantial reductions in body weight, body fat percentage, and visceral (belly) fat, which is the type of fat that's linked to disease. I’ve practiced two-day fasting and other forms of intermittent fasting for years and I often recommended this way of eating to serious clients who are committed to maintaining a healthy body weight in the long-term.


The Nutritional Power of Eating Chocolate

Chocolate is by far one of the most popular and sought after indulgences worldwide. In addition to being a valuable source of essential micronutrients like iron and magnesium, chocolate contains powerful all-natural chemicals that prevent disease and promote overall good health. Here are some reasons why you shouldn't feel an ounce of guilt when treating yourself to an occasional piece of chocolate.

Subscribe to this RSS feed