Fitness and Nutrition


 Training for Fitness

There are many benefits that can occur as a result of using resistance training which include prevention of chronic diseases, weight control, increased strength, better sleep, increased energy and self-esteem, stress reduction and decreased risk of depression. In contrast, lack of physical activity can increase the risk of elevated blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol, stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

As women age, resistance or weight training is beneficial for increased bone density and joint integrity.

Cardio or Weights for Weight Loss? BOTH! Dieting, without resistance training, often results in a loss of both fat and muscle mass. The decrease in muscle mass can have the effect of reducing your metabolic rate.


Fitness Walking – The Proper Technique

– Stand up straight

– Eyes up, chin parallel to the ground and looking to the horizon

– Lift and roll your shoulders back and down and relaxed

– Tighten your core. Keep pelvis neutral. Squeeze your glutes tight.

– Bend the elbows 80 to 90 degrees. This is essential to increasing walking speed.

(It also keeps your hands from swelling.)

– Keep your hands relaxed, cupped or in a handshake position

– Your arms/hands should not cross the body midline.

– Heel-down and toe-up foot placement facilitates a smooth heel to toe roll. Shorter strides.

– Drive elbows back and don’t punch forward


General Strength

Cardio            5-6 days, 30-45 minutes. Use cardio equipment of your choice.

Treadmill: vary incline (start at 2%) and speed. Do not hold onto handrail

Outdoor, vary intensity. Dress for weather conditions.


Resistance     3 days, 3 exercises per muscle, 2-3 sets, 10-15 repetitions

Specific large muscle group eg. chest/back, triceps/biceps, legs/shoulders.

Core, every other day.

Warm  up prior to resistance training and cool down after cardio and resistance. Peloton app has various warm up and cool down selections as well as cardio selections.


Ginger Chews – There is evidence to suggest that ginger may help reduce muscle soreness after exercise so if you suffer from delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) or want to nip it in the bud, try enjoying a few CHIMES’ Ginger Chews after your workout. Chimes’ has 5 flavors!  

Women’sHealth NO GYM REQUIRED, Special magazine. Great information and workouts! 

* I am not a paid sponsor of apps, books, magazines that I mention.


Based on my training and education of sports nutrition and whole plant-based nutrition, I will share what works for me. I have eliminated as many processed snacks/foods as possible from my diet. For example, crackers, cookies, tortilla chips, cereals, chocolate, desserts, candy.  Five years ago, I chose to eat vegan and did it “cold turkey”.  No meats, fish, dairy, eggs, oils, diet soda, desserts. This works for me but I have salmon occasionally. There are great plant-based cookbooks and recipes. Start out with a few meals. I will share a few favorite recipes of mine.

I include smoothies in my diet and you can find recipes on the internet. My favorites are Green Smoothie that includes a 3-day detox diet with a 21-day plan and The Vegan Inspiration. I also like the detox waters…Skinnyfit day detox blend and Zzz nighttime blend. Start your day with a cup of hot lemon water and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Flat tummy water: 1/2 of lemon sliced, 1/2 of lime juice, 1 sliced cucumber, 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, 5-6 fresh mint leaves, 6 cups of water. Refrigerate overnight.

3-2-1 Dancing Dressing. I use this on salads and sautéing brussel sprouts and kale salad mixes.

Prep time: 2 minutes – Makes almost 1/2 cup dressing

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar        2 Tbsp mustard, your choice              1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice        Chopped fresh dill (optional)

Combine vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, lemon juice in jar and shake well. Add chopped dill. Serve over salad or cooked greens. Also great in a quinoa bowl.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Prep time: 10 min  Cook time 6 min or so

1 large sweet potato

1 c. cooked brown rice                                   ¼ tsp onion powder

1 c.  salsa                                                        ¼ tsp chili powder

1 c. chopped fresh spinach                             ¼ tsp ground cumin

1 c. black beans, drained and rinsed              6-8 whole wheat tortillas

8 oz. vegetarian no added oil refried beans   1 jalapeno pepper, diced

Pre-made or home-made guacamole

Bake sweet potato in microwave, prepare rice.  In a mixing bowl, mash the sweet potato with the salsa, rice and fresh spinach. Place the sweet potato mash in a saucepan and mix in the black beans and refried beans and heat the mixture thoroughly over medium heat.  Add the onion powder, chili powder, and cumin to taste, and stir to incorporate.

Slather half of the tortilla with the sweet potato-bean mixture. Add jalapenos, a few fresh spinach leaves and fold in half. Place in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat and press down on the top with the spatula, then cook in the pan for 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook opposite side for 3 minutes more. Cut in 2 or 3 sections, serve with additional salsa and guacamole

Panana Cakes

Prep time: 25 min, Makes 1 dozen pancakes

2 c. whole wheat pastry flour                          1 c. water

1 tsp baking soda                                            1 c. nondairy milk

1 tsp baking powder                                       2 egg replacers (2 Tbsp ground flaxseed

½ tsp sea salt                                                      with 6 Tbsp water)

1 tsp cinnamon                                               2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 banana, mashed

  • Combine, flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and cinnamon in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix mashed banana, water, milk, egg replacers, and maple syrup.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir just enough to remove any lumps. The batter should be pourable; if it seems too thick, add more milk.
  • Preheat a nonstick skillet or griddle
  • Using ¼ c. measure, pour small amounts of batter onto the heated surface, and cook until the top bubbles. Turn with spatula and cook the second side until golden brown. Serve immediately with fresh fruit, maple syrup or raspberry sauce.

Raspberry Sauce

10 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed           1 tsp balsamic vinegar, or more to taste

In food processor, combine both ingredients and process until smooth. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.

Mindy’s Cacao Balls

½ c. walnuts

½ c. cashews or almonds

1 c. pitted dates

1 tsp. vanilla

½ c. Cacao Powder

  • Add nuts to food processor – pulse until chopped well
  • Add 1 c. dates, 1 tsp vanilla – grind until you can make a ball
  • Add ¼ c. cacao powder and mix well
  • Make balls – freeze

Great energy source before working out or needing a late afternoon pick-me-up.

My favorite vegan cookbooks:

The CHINA STUDY Cookbook, Leanne Campbell, PhD

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn

PLANT-STRONG, Rip Esselstyn (Plant Strong food items available online)

Be a PLANT-BASED WOMAN WARRIOR, Jane Esselstyn and Ann Crile Esselstyn



In good health,

Rasa DeLafosse,