On the Road to Recovery II- Keeping the Strength at your Core (video post inside)

While I’m still in the transition phase from non-weight bearing to weight bearing, core strengthening and pilates is helping me to rebalance my entire system as I reintegrate myself.

Since exercise progression begins from a supported position Pilates is a great tool to assist me in going from 5 weeks of non–weight bearing to weight bearing, to open chain and later progressing to explosive movements…I’m not there yet.

By aligning my skeletal system, and strengthening my core, I am able to stabilize and move easier by alleviating excess stress on peripheral joints and other areas while I heal.

My limitation here is not to use my glutes and abductors, (butt and outer thighs) So I work around them to keep everything else strong while the affected area heals.  I also keep blood circulating and focus on breathing, this in turn will help speed my recovery.

Pilates promotes an even musculature throughout the body by stabilizing muscles around the joints. It also stresses spinal and pelvic alignment. The focus is on active lengthening of muscles and mobility of the joints, rather than traditional prolonged static stretching. All of which is critical in getting us to move the way we’re supposed to move to avoid injury, facilitate recovery and improve athletic performance.

The core is considered the “center” of the body and consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. Recruiting this system helps to facilitate pelvic stability, muscle balancing, neuromuscular coordination, biomechanical efficiency, increased proprioceptive awareness and increased muscle-firing patterns as well as muscle activation.

A strong core provides a dynamic link between the upper and lower body.  By including stabilizing and strengthening moves at varying angles and ranges of motion it trains the neuromuscular firing patterns, musculoskeletal and fascial systems to work together more effectively and efficiently.

Gratefully, my friend and Pilates instructor, who owns Nomi Pilates has been helping me with this transitory phase.  Naomi Weyrowski thinks that “Pilates is a safe and effective workout to continue strengthening and stretching to help recover and also begin to hone in on having “conscious competence’ and begin to see the imbalances and weaknesses and misalignments in your own body and work to correct these faulty movement patterns.”

Naomi also thinks that with the Pilates principles, breath, movement, flow, precision and control, not only will it help speed recovery but puts one on to the path to overall awareness and quality of movement to prevent injuries in the future.

What I have found, is that the longer it takes to heal, the weaker you get, the harder and longer the recovery will take a toll physically, mentally and emotionally. By going into the surgery strong, maintaining and fortifying what I can keep strong, will help the recovery process to be easier and seem shorter.

Coming out of a prior surgery with a one-year recovery, I have another 6-month recovery ahead of me.  My biggest challenge… staying as strong and as positive as I can on the road to recovery.

Keep moving people and


GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer


ref article: http://physical-therapy.advanceweb.com/Features/Articles/Pilates-for-Injury-Recovery.aspx

The Road to Recovery – Do What You Can When You Can’t DO (workout video inside)

Over the years I can’t even tell you, pardon my being so blunt, the number of dumb excuses I’ve heard why people can’t workout.

You’ve been sidelined by injury, illness or limitations, the road to recovery can be long arduous, boring and depressing but you can make it easier for yourself by staying active and  keeping the rest of you strong.

People are always asking me to post workouts videos and my feelings were, there are so many already out there, why post another one when you can google any exercise you want to see.

I found no reason to post and share until NOW

My restriction is non weight bearing lower body for 4 weeks.  That seemed impossible to someone like me.  Here I post my first upper body circuit workout 2 weeks post op after my 2nd hip surgery this year : o

My point is this, there is plenty you CAN DO while you are recovering from an injury, a surgery or any thing that creates limitations for you, the trick is to work around it!

Do what you can to stay strong while the rest of you mends.  Keep moving what you can and get the blood circulating.  The stronger you are the faster you will heal : ) This will cut your recovery time make it that much easier to get back to where you were and stay in shape while you recover.


Keep Moving

GO for Life! ™whoefoodscrutches

In peace, health & with much love,


Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Farm To Table and What it Means to You

red farm picYou’ve probably been hearing the term Farm to Table more often lately, it’s been trending for the last five years and still in its growing stages.

What this means and why it should matter to you?

Farm to table restaurants support local farmers and artisans by using recently harvested products and highlighting the special character of those ingredients or the season of the year.

Both the slow food and farm-to-table movement are two related trends.  Basically, by taking the middle-man out of the equation they deemphasize industrialized food systems.

farmpic1Chefs go directly to the farmers’ source to get the freshest ingredients they can to create their seasonal menus.

Why this is better for you is because produce for example is picked way before it’s ripe in order to get to the market or distributer without rotting. So the fruits and vegetable we eat are never fully mature and never reach full flavor unless it come from a nearby local farm who can pick when ripened and transport immediately to serve and feed.farmpic2

The other option of course is to have your own farm and grow your own ingredients.

Why I like and support it…

Besides the obvious keeping money in the local market by supporting local growers…It’s a non-commercial environment where bigger is not better with organically grown produce and herbs, free range chickens and grass fed beef, no hormones, no antibiotics, natural diets which help to maintain nutrients, natural flavors and higher quality standards.

Because it’s mutually beneficial to everyone the farmer, the chef and you and me, the diner : )

GO for Life! ™jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Farms, Your Food and the Non-GMO Hype…Be Aware

A few weeks ago I was scouting farms. Specifically farms that grow sustainable agriculture. This means they use farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare. It draws and learns from organic farming, or so I thought!

I was under the impression that if it was non-GMO that the practices were safe.  To my dismay while on my journey I found this chart…GMO pic

Since today’s society is wrapped up in more and bigger, farming techniques have taken to commercial production to create more and bigger everything. The problem is the methods to get there are unhealthy for humans and the environment and leads to much of our food becoming genetically modified.

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans.

This practice has altered the chemistry of our food affecting its nutritional value, creating toxicity, developing allergic reactions and harming the environment.

Here I was thinking non-GMO was safe and now even that’s not enough :/

Be AWARE people!

GO for Life! ™jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Reference: http://seedsofdeception.com/what-is-gmo/

Are you Functioning at Optimal Health- Do you really know?

You went to your general doctor and he looked at your blood test results and he said your results are fine they are within range and you’re healthy, but are you really? …

Here is what you may not know…

When the general doctor reads your test results he is comparing you to the health of the general public, not to your specific health and the best that you can be.

Have you seen the state of the health the general American public is in? I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be compared in any way, shape or form to the general public when it comes to my health.

Chances are, if you stay within those guidelines disease is brewing beneath your skin and you’d better take control of your own health and not depend on the governments guidelines.  Set your own standards.

No two people are the same nor are their health goals. Therefore, optimal health is an individualized matter.

The World Health Organization defines health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

But what is Optimal health?

In an article in the “American Journal of Health Promotion” by Michael O’Donnell, Optimal health is a balance of five areas of health. These areas are emotional, physical, spiritual, mental and social health. The concept of optimal health focuses on mental health and healthful relationships, as well as nutrition and exercise.

At the physical level it means freedom of movement. To be strong, flexible, durable and balanced.

At the mental level, it is clear thinking  including memory, reflection, analysis and creativity.  To be quiet, yet alert and attentive in the mind.

At the emotional level, freedom of expression.To be free from stress and mental blockages.

At the spiritual level, it is being connected to your essence and to the universe. To be free from attachments and to be present.

Don’t you want to be your best self ?!  Mind body and soul.

As our thoughts become our reality here is some food for thought…

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. “ Hippocrates

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,joycethumb

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Books to Read for the Health of It

Lately, I’ve been getting asked a lot of the same question, the information you share is off the beaten path where do you get all this information.

The laundry list is long but here are few to get you started on the path to optimal health.

Here is my reading list :

“Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome” by James L. Wilson

“Why Isn’t My Brain Working: A Revolutionary Understanding of Brain Decline and Effective Strategies to Recover Your Brain’s Health ” by Datis Kharrazian“Grain Brain : The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers” by David Perlmutter-

“Grain Brain : The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers” by David Perlmutter-


“The Big Book of Health and Fitness” By Dr. Phillip Maffetone


“The Paleo Diet For Athletes: The Ancient Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance” by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel


“Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health”  – Jo Robinson


and finally, to keep me grounded

“The Power of NOW” by Eckhart Tolle

Click on any of the links provided to enjoy the read.  If i didn’t provide a link you will have to resource your own.. apologies.

I hope you learn a lot and use it for good health : )

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer


Go Slower to Go Faster -Heart Rate Training with Phil Maffeton

So you got the fit bit with the heart rate monitor and you want to know how to determine your zone for increased fitness and fat burning potential…

If you really want to increase your fitness level here are the rules…

Taken from Maffetone’s Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing:

1. Subtract your age from 180.

2. Modify this number by selecting from among the following categories the one that best matches your fitness and health profile:

a. If you have or are recovering from a major illness (heart disease any operation or hospital stay, etc.) or are on any regular medication, subtract an additional 10.
b. If you are injured, have regressed in training or competition, get more than two colds or bouts of flu per year, have allergies or asthma, or if you have been inconsistent or are just getting back into training, subtract an additional 5.
c. If you have been training consistently (at least four times per week) for up to two years without any of the problems just mentioned, keep the number (180 – age) the same.
d. If you have been training for more than two years without any of the problems listed above, and have made progress in competition without injury, add 5.

Stay within the 10 beats do not go lower or higher.  The hard part is not going past your zone.  Staying slower will actually help establish a baseline and then you can improve your heart rate conditioning.  It will get frustrating but it will give you you a chance to practice patience and it does work!

What this does is stimulate the full spectrum of slow-twitch muscle fibers to rely on fat for fuel. Besides burning fat, it puts you in a recovery zone and helps improve heart and lungs, increased circulation, and better brain function.  This also helps the joints, bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles prevent injuries, avoiding chronic pain conditions in areas like the low back, knee, shoulder, wrist and neck.

Going slower to go faster Check it out..  “The Phil Maffetone Method”

GO for Life! ™ jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love, 

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Thank you Edgar Romero for turning me on to this.

Another Bit About the “Fit Bit”

You’re still addicted and you’re still counting your steps and you think that this will burn those extra calories.  Counting your steps and counting your calories will keep you in that same vicious cycle getting you no where :/

You can only drop your calories and work off calories for so long before your metabolism slows down.  The idea is not to decrease your caloric consumption it ‘s actually to eat the required number of calories for your BMR Basal metabolic rate and then get your body to burn excess fat through cardiovascular exercise in your target heart rate zone!

Keeping your calories high while working in this zone will actually increase your metabolism and work in your favor to once again decrease fat, improve heart rate conditioning and improve your overall fitness level, after all isn’t that the goal?!

Do you still believe in your Fit Bit now?

Did I also mention the golden gate bridge was for sale and you can charge people to walk across it?

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,
Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer


A True Bit on “Fit Bit” and What Marketers Don’t Want You to Know

fit bit

You got your Fit Bit and you’re addicted to counting your steps.  Unless you’re a couch potato this is useless information and here’s why …

If your Fit Bit doesn’t have a heart monitor and you are not working in your heart rate zone, counting your steps will have no bearing on your fitness level or your ability to burn fat.

If you’re an active person, and I mean someone who moves around all day doing all sorts of things and are not sitting around, this gadget is not for you. Unless you have the one with the heart rate monitor and are using it to work in your heart rate training zone to either burn fat or improve your heart rate in which case you can forgo the Fit Bit and move right into a good old fashioned Heart Rate Monitor which actually does the trick of burning fat and improving your heart rate to increase your fitness level, none of which counting your steps on the Fit Bit will do.

So maybe you burned a few more calories by taking a few more steps but you could burn a ton of more calories by monitoring your heart rate and working in your heart rate  zone all of which is more efficient and leads to greater success to achieving your fitness goals of the afore mentioned burning fat, improving heart rate conditioning and increasing your fitness level.

Then there’s your nutrition, IF you’re still keeping to your same dietary habits then all of this effort will go to waste and you will remain just the same and you should just as well stay on the couch and be a potato.

Unless you are a couch potato, PLEASE don’t waste your time counting your steps this will only keep you walking in circles.

Why be a couch potato when you can be a track star? : )
Heart Rate Monitor ( No Chest Strap)

With Chest Strap

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,contact

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

My Short Film Project – “The Percolator”

Many of you know that I share my passion and livelihood for both fitness and film.  I consider myself blessed and very grateful to put into practice my love for both art forms. For the next few weeks I will be focusing my energy on raising funds to complete my latest independent short film project, “The Percolator”.

percpicA humorous short film about a woman who hooks up with a man for the first time after having been with women for 10 years, is once again soul searching to find her sexual identity.


Though this is not a personal account, it is the account of someone dear to me. As I tell this story, everyone agrees that the topic is most fitting for the times, don’t you think?

Here’s the Pitch: I have launched an INDIEGOGO campaign to raise funds for this project. The beauty of crowdfunding is that it doesn’t take a huge investment on the part of a sole person in order to make the numbers matter.  I hope you can find the time and a few dollars to spare to help fund this project along.

Please help me reach my goal and make a pledge : )

Here’s the link to learn more about the project:


To make a pledge:


Please spread the word and share the link too. Thank you in advance for your support.

I hope you’re feeling great!


Joycelyn Bejar

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Indiegogo quick link:



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