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Mental Habits and Chronic Pain

People faced with the day in day out experience of ongoing muscle and joint pain often develop mental habits to help them cope that can actually make their condition worse.1 Emotions such as anger, depression and/or making comparisons to how things used to be before the physical problem began, distracts the brain temporarily to help override current sensations of pain. While these mental habits can provide fleeting relief, they also serve to prolong chronic pain conditions by changing brain chemistry and altering the mind and body’s response to pain.


The Naturopathic Chef: Jeweled Salad

I was asked to create a salad that would visually wow, as well as pack the most nutrition possible, and it had to have a creamy dressing. This is the result of that recipe challenge. The ingredients can be worked around what you already have on hand.


  • 1 head Bibb lettuce, cleaned and dried
  • 4 Radishes, slice thinly
  • 1 each Naval Orange, Pink Grapefruit, and Blood Orange segments
  • ½ cup Pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted

Chill prepared ingredients.


  • 1/3 cup Grapeseed oil mayo
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt of your choice
  • 1 Tbls Agave or Honey
  • 1 Tbls Lime zest
  • ¼ cup Lime Juice
  • Pinch of quality Salt

Whisk everything together, and chill until service.

Handy Hint

The knife work can make your presentation, Chefs. The citrus can be “supremed” by cutting both ends off. Peel the citrus with your knife, all the way around. Very carefully, hold the peeled citrus in your hand. Slide the blade of the knife along the white membrane on one side. Then slide it across the other side, lifting the perfect segment out. As you go around the citrus, fold the membranes back like pages of a book. Now, you can move onto the next segment without them getting in your way. Master Chef techniques! You can do it! Fine food is in the details.

Phyte Bites

Most researchers are convinced that the Mediterranean Diet is the best for overall health and longevity. This is primarily attributed to Olive Oil and its great phyto profile.

What I have discovered is the Limonene in their diet. This is found in the pith of the giant Sicilian Lemons. These lemons are almost all pith, and they are a big part of the Medi diet. Limonene cleans our cells, clears free radicals from our bloodstream and tones our internal organs, similar to how exercise tones our muscles. This is the reason I have always recommended eating a small piece of citrus every day. Be sure to peel it by hand, leaving the pith intact. To supreme citrus is to give the fine dining look and palate experience that will garner you the Chef props you deserve.

Get more great recipes from Tina Martini — her book, Delicious Medicine: The Healing Power of Food is available to purchase on Amazon. More than a cookbook, combining 20+ years of experience, along with her love of coaching, cooking and teaching, Tina offers unexpected insights into the history and healing power of clean eating, along with recipes to help reduce your risk of disease and improve overall wellness so you can enjoy life!

Affectionately referred to as The Walking Encyclopedia of Human Wellness, Fitness Coach, Strength Competitor and Powerlifting pioneer, Tina “The Medicine Chef” Martini is an internationally recognized Naturopathic Chef and star of the cooking show, Tina’s Ageless Kitchen. Tina’s cooking and lifestyle show has reached millions of food and fitness lovers all over the globe. Over the last 30 years, Tina has assisted celebrities, gold-medal athletes and over-scheduled executives naturally achieve radiant health using The Pyramid of Power: balancing Healthy Nutrition and the healing power of food, with Active Fitness and Body Alignment techniques. Working with those who have late-stage cancer, advanced diabetes, cardiovascular and other illnesses, Tina’s clients are astounded at the ease and speed with which they are able to restore their radiant health. Tina believes that maintaining balance in our diet, physical activity, and in our work and spiritual life is the key to our good health, happiness and overall well being. Visit her website, themedicinechef.com

women viewing sunset cliff

Living Through The COVID-19 Pandemic: 5 Keys To Finding Your Path Forward

The recommendations are simple: Wash your hands, maintain proper social distancing, wear a mask, and don’t attend large gatherings. Why has this been so hard for so many people to do? What is in our future since we are faced with so many unanswered questions? How can we gather the strength to survive the crisis of our lifetime? 

These and so many other questions have been on my mind over the past year. I believe in the power of choice and living in the present. These two points of reference guide my activity each day and I will share the 5 keys with you that could make a significant difference in your life and yield a rich and rewarding path forward when we finally “get to the other side” of this terrible worldwide tragedy.


#1 – Mental Clarity

This key gives us the power to review and “listen” to our thoughts – the place where our reality begins to take shape. I am grateful for my life because I nearly died in 2019 after being hit by a truck (8 fractured ribs) when I was riding my bike. My conditioning and my training as a fitness professional helped me survive the initial incident and also the 2nd emergency (2 months later) that led to the blood clots that nearly killed me. 

2020 represented a “foundational” training year for me and included challenging hill cycling (I didn’t quit) and complementary weight training. As I entered 2020, strengthening my heart, legs and overall strength became my focus. I am close to being back to where I was before the truck hit me and now I enter 2021 with a new plan: To build an “athlete’s” mind set!

KEY: Set your intention and direction establishing your priorities. For me, it became strengthening my heart and legs so I could resume my beloved running program of more than 50 years. This year I will build on what I started last year and find my way from there.

#2 – Faith

Setting your intention helps you in charting your course and finding your path forward (the subject of my 3rd book not yet published). It is in establishing purpose that we “find ourselves”. I am working on becoming the “example of the change I wish to see in the world” since my path is becoming a passionate advocate for the principles of healthy aging as discussed in my first book Healthy Aging & You”: Your Journey to Becoming Happy, Healthy & Fit

KEY: Focus on your intention and “tune out” the noise of the day. Get close to your passion by focusing your attention on what you WANT in your life and “let the rest go”! Faith in yourself is most important (my conclusion in my yet unpublished 3rd manuscript). It is critical to spend time each day contemplating this thought!

#3 – Commitment

This principle applies to all of life. Those of us who commit to “a greater good” have the best chance for growth, expansion, and eventually success. I am committed to sharing my message with the world so I am joining with my daughter who has an excellent background in PR and media relations to help me connect with journalists and media outlets in print, TV, and radio. We are committed to “making a difference” in the world so my training, writing, and passion will eventually “get me there”. (I am now 74 so I have no time to waste!)

KEY: Become passionate about your life and finding your “true” message. Define it clearly and develop your plan for achieving your own dream. Dreams are what fueled Walt Disney’s success so if it was good enough for Walt, it is definitely good enough for me. How about YOU?

#4 – Training

Training represents my foundation and it encompasses “all of me” – mind, body and spirit. I say spirit in reference to our belief systems and what they represent to us. For me, my belief is in my “greatness” – meaning I have value and will be able to share that value with others. I encourage you to define your training program and work on it each day. Mine includes cardiovascular conditioning, weight training, meditation and prayer work, and daily affirmations I repeat throughout the day reinforcing my commitment to my purpose.

KEY: Discipline and purpose work hand in hand. Living in the present and making your choices in the only moment that matters (the present) is a very important concept. Practice it daily and you will find yourself not getting distracted with the unimportant details in life that can literally “derail” our success.

#5 – Programming

This final key is important because our minds control our lives and destiny. The subconscious mind is where the “tapes” are stored that influence every aspect of our lives – including our attitudes and behavior. Be careful in programming your mind since what you say, feel, express, and do will alter your course if you are not careful. This is where affirmations and visualization – and your imagination – come in. 

Be aware of how you express yourself and gather to you all the goodwill you can because we need each other. One of my favorite teachers shared a belief I now hold as well: “Everything we desire in life comes through relationship.” A corollary belief I hold is “the mind of man is unlimited in its potential and responds to the demands placed upon it.” Place the BEST demands on yourself every day and see what happens!

KEY: Programming your mind is an activity that is priceless. Do it with love and passion and your old negative patterns will no longer restrain you from achieving what you envision for yourself. People will want to be with you because of “who you are”!

Nicholas Prukop is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer & a Health Coach and fitness professional with over 25 years of experience. His passion for health and fitness comes from his boyhood in Hawaii, where he grew up a swimmer on Maui. He found his calling in writing his first book “Healthy Aging & You: Your Journey to Becoming Happy, Healthy & Fit” and since then he has dedicated himself to empowering, inspiring and enabling people of all ages to reach for the best that is within them and become who they are meant to be – happy, healthy and fit – and be a part of a world where each person can contribute their own unique gifts to life.


Training Considerations for Individuals Recovering from Alcohol Use Disorder, Part 2

A history of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) poses a set of challenges for the fitness professional working with this population. Clients affected by AUD can benefit greatly from working one-on-one or in a group setting, however, specific medical co-morbidities must be considered when designing programming for and working with individuals in this population.

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Reinventing the Wheel; Fitness for the ASD Population

“Hey, Hun, is it cool if we push our moving date to March 1st?”

That was the question I raised to my wife Shani when notified that my presentation had been accepted for the first ever TEDx at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. We were scheduled to move from Queens, NY to Charlotte NC the weekend of the event. Turns out a trip to Hawaii was about the only thing that could postpone our relocation.

The theme for the TEDx event, perhaps ironically, was 20/20 Vision; How to Create a Better Future. Clearly the irony lay in the global pandemic, political, and civil unrest that broadly defined the last year. Still, and arguably highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of fitness and quality of life takes precedence. What can we focus on and strive for with respect to health and well-being? How do we implement real, sustainable change in access to fitness programs for different populations?


Deliberate Wellness at Home

In the daily grind of life, it can be challenging – between doctors appointments, grocery shopping, meal prepping, upkeeping your home – to prioritize what benefits your wellness and wellbeing. Things like enjoying healthy meals, making the time to go out for a walk, maybe even taking an art class – these activities take deliberate effort, planning and determination to find, coordinate and attend.


The Essential Ingredient to Sticking With It…

If you’ve got this “special sauce,” you’ll overcome any obstacles placed in your way to perform your best…anytime!  Regardless of whether it’s sticking with lifestyle change to improve your health, a nutrition plan, cutting back on smoking or drinking, adhering to a medication regimen, following through with physical therapy appointments, or adhering to an exercise program, this essential ingredient will make all of the difference.


Marching Forward in 2021

Everyone in the industry knows how tough 2020 was regarding work, planning, staffing, and getting by. While many in the industry look to digital and video health programs, the integrity and growth of the fitness industry by no means will mean that health clubs will be a thing of the past (Segran – 2021). On the contrary – clubs will play a critical role in changing the face of healthcare in the United States – which is also on life support. The recent article by Elizabeth Segran in Fast Company states that many Americans will forego health clubs in favor of other types of exercise. She states that 59% of Americans won’t return to health clubs. This may be 59% of current health club members, and not the 65% of Americans who don’t belong to health clubs.


Teaming Up with Good Nutrition

If you are a solo athlete, such as a singles rower, figure skater, or runner, the benefits that come from fueling your body wisely benefit you personally. Team athletes, how-ever, commonly participate in group meals that may focus less on nutrition and more on fun foods. (Nachos and beer, anyone?) Coaches may find it hard to enroll all their athletes in responsible fueling. Yet the team that fuels wisely will have an edge over the team that eats a sub-optimal sports diet, particularly when traveling to competitive events.