7 Healthy Habits to Guide Your Lifestyle

For most, the road to eating what most would consider a healthy clean diet, is a challenging one. Information and advice can be found anywhere and everywhere. For the most part this information and advice focuses on what to eat, and not on the relationship that food has with our everyday life. It usually doesn’t focus on how food is grown and the socioeconomic impact of how we eat. For the majority it is very challenging to make significant and consistent positive changes to an eating regimen or nutritional lifestyle. Food is not only a part of our physical health but also, our emotional and social health.

Below you’ll find 7 tips to help you get started thinking about “eating healthy” in a whole new way:

  1. Know you! Be honest with yourself, and set yourself up for success by setting small attainable goals that fit YOU. The perfect plan is not the “perfect plan”, but, the perfect plan for YOU, is the one that you can consistently stick to.

  2. Use the 5/2 rule. Out of the 7 days of the week, 5 of those days your food should be prepared by you. Think clean, simple, and healthy. These same 5 days should also match your personal goals. On the other 2 days’ food can be enjoyed in a more casual setting whether it is prepared by you, or prepared by someone else.

  3. Eat real foods. Avoid and/or limit processed, packaged and canned foods.

  4. Fresh food tastes better. Buy local, the less the food has travel, the more nutrients it has and not to mention it’s more delicious!

  5. Eat organic when possible. Food that has been grown without hormones, pesticides or GMO’s is more nutrient rich and in turn, healthier for you. In the process you will be part of the movement to save the environment by being an economic participant and reducing your own carbon footprint.

  6. Cook! Plan ahead and cook for the week. Keep it simple, focus on the macros that fit your needs and goals. Use the 5/2 rule. By putting in the time to cook for the week you will be less likely to make poor choices and enjoy your other 2 days without guilt.

  7. Don’t be afraid of food, enjoy your food! Let dinner be a celebration, either with your partner, friends or family. Set the table, gather up, enjoy the food, enjoy each other, have a glass of wine, and start the conversation.

Healthy clean eating does not have to be a one-way street, or a dead end for that matter. Improve your relationship with food, allow it to be one of your physical and health cornerstones, allow it to be a social voice and reward. By having a relationship with food, rather than a goal attached to a mindless number, food will gain a much bigger meaning, it will become part of who you are, a part of your LIFESTYLE.

The Most Interesting Things I Read In May


Science, Social, Pets

Your dog really loves you (Outside)

Yes, beautiful people experience life differently (Science of Us)


Health and Fitness

You need more than one minute of exercise per day (Outside)

You are what you eat (ScienMag)



What I learned from being the only woman at a startup (Vox)

The career limitations of emotional intelligence (Fast Company)


Global Socioeconomics, Engineering, Environment

The entire country of Portugal ran on wind, solar and hydropower for 4 days straight (Business Insider)

The smartest building in the world (Bloomberg)

10 years after an Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore may be winning (Wired)

Why women hold the key to South East Asia’s economic success (World Economic Forum)

Pain and recovery in southern Europe (Bloomberg View)


Science and Medicine

How to be “radically free” (Quartz)

A self-improvement secret: Work on strengths (Scientific American)

Why doctors for Diabetics now recommend surgery instead of drugs (Scientific American)

The fat free revolution that gave America diarrhea (Priceconomics)

Everything you need to know about poop (Science of Us)


Investing, Finance, Behavioral Economics

The social function of markets (Medium)

Client conviction is everything (The Reformed Broker)

Lessons from losing big (A Wealth of Common Sense)


Social Science and Behavior

Attitudes (Very Well)

Do this one thing to help your kids develop “grit” (Marketwatch)

Teenage brain on social media (Science Daily)




Part 3 of Blog series - How to Reach Your Goals

In part two of our blog series we outlined the steps on how to set up a successful program and the main things that need to be addressed in order to set that up properly. In this blog we are going to offer our suggestions on how to set and maintain the program and momentum towards your goal.

Step #1 - Write it down

Have you ever heard the term “seeing is believing”? Well how many times has it happened in our lives. Let’s use it to our advantage. Every time I start a program with a new client, or one of my current clients’ needs to re-assess, I always ask them to write down 3 days worth of eating habits and their workout schedule. Everyone is always surprised that they were eating so much, or too much of that, in some cases not enough, or they haven’t been doing their leg workout. I use the same approach when I think about goals. You won’t see me or your trainer every day, maybe you do not have one, but you can see your own writing everyday if you purposely place it in the right place.

I suggest you write down primarily your main goal (run a marathon, loose those last 5 pounds, get into my favorite outfit), and your total number of workouts goal. Whether you are a structure person or not I suggest you get a calendar, write that goal at the top of every month, then add when those workouts going to happen (dates, days). Then add the workouts totals for the weeks, and then the month. This alone will make it less likely that you will fall behind, the road to big success is a series of small steps.

Last but not least on the write it down list, FOOD. Yes, write it down. Not only will this keep you from overeating or undereating, but is the only way to quantify what works for you. Not only for the sake of losing weight, appearance, performance, etc., but what works for you in the sense that by you knowing this, you will be able to enjoy those moments of reward with more ease and pleasure, but, possibly and hopefully, more mindfully.

Step #2 - Measure it and track it- keep yourself honest

Yes, you have to face the scale, tape measure, body calipers, etc., yes, you should track your workouts time, sets, reps, intensity. Whether you want to gain or lose weight, improve body composition, increase or reduce girth on a specific area, you name it, you want to quantify the process. Why? Well think of it as your fitness recipe. If it fails, or it doesn’t quite get there, you will now have a frame of data and reference, so you can adjust or just plain avoid in the search for better results. If your program is a success, you will have the data to repeat the process that will get you to that goal.

Step #3 - Community and Culture

Besides one’s personal drive, one of the most efficient ways and one of the most important details to keep any sort of commitment or goal is to have a community. Sharing with the people that care the most about you what you strive to do, what you strive to become, is a great way to hold yourself accountable. The people that care the most about you are the ones that will say “are you supposed to be eating that?!”, “you are going to the gym, aren’t you?!”, “you are doing a great job, I am very proud of you!”. The other community that one should cultivate is the like-minded community. Been surrounded by people that value and relate to your goals, struggles, successes, etc., is a very powerful and motivational asset.

Step #4 - Be Balanced

This is one of the most overlooked details in a training program. It is necessary to make the proper sacrifices to achieve anything special and meaningful in life. Those sacrifices though, need to be in line not only with your goals but your life. You want to be able to still have family and friend time, still be productive at work, have that weekly “ME” time. You may have to do a self-assessment and look for times that you spend doing things that are not so beneficial for you and/or not in line with your new goal, and use that time, sacrifice that space. By taking this approach and being balanced not only are you less likely to be unsuccessful or to quit since you are less likely to overextend yourself, but it will also force you to look at the bigger picture. What is really important to you will have its place, now your health and fitness will have its opportunity to become part of that big picture and have its own place.

Step #5 - Enjoy the process

The future is not a gift, but an achievement. Motivational speaker Eric Thomas says, “you have to be able to sacrifice who you are for who you want to become”. You have to look forward to that new you, to that new life. But, it will not come to you or just happen, you have to make it happen, you can achieve your new you.

I know this is not your typical “Stepping into summer” article or series of articles, but, this is our philosophy, thus we strive for change and achievements that have benefits that extend further than a few months or achieve something more than just a good picture, instead we strive for “A Way of Life”.



May's Most Interesting Health & Fitness Articles - Around the Web

Here are some of the most interesting things I've read so far this month. ENJOY! 

Technology and Socioeconomics

Siri’s creators say they’ve made something better that will take care of everything for you (Washington Post)

Why so many doctors are advising startups (Fast Company)

When did optimism become uncool? (New York Times)

The one thing rich parents do that makes all the difference (The Washington Post)

Global and mixed interest

The world’s newest major religion: No religion (National Geographic)

Seven things to say when a conversation turns negative (Harvard Business Review)

Investment and Finance

The gospel according to Buffet (Evidence Based Investor)

Three ways to think about “Is it worth it?’ (New York Times)


Why Americans ignore the role of luck in everything (Science of Us)

Six remarkable facts about the science of motherhood (Vox)

Suffocating the ocean (Pacific Standard)

A psychology professor explains why self-esteem is failing us (Business Insider)

Seeing the benefits of failure shapes kids’ beliefs about intelligence (Eurekalert)

Health, Fitness and Sports

The truth about high-intensity interval training (Vox)

Lifting weights is more important to your health than you think (Business Insider)

Research-based exercise program turning preschoolers into “Fit Kids” (Eurekalert)

Best pitcher of all time (FiveThirtyEight)


Build your brand as a relationship (Harvard Business Review)

What platforms do differently than traditional businesses (Harvard Business Review)



The most interesting things I read in April!

Part 2 of Blog Series - Weekly Program Guidelines

Welcome to part 2 of the 3 series blog on how to set your goals and achieve them with our weekly program guidelines. 

First off, when thinking of a plan, program or structure for a fitness goal most of us think in terms of cardio, weights and nutrition. Then we think of sets, reps, time, etc. Even though this idea is mostly correct, and it seems to cover all the bases, it usually lacks the most important thing, and that is the fit to the particular individuals life. To add to that, you are maybe looking for a solution to achieve a short term goal, summer photo fitness! When in reality the outcome you are looking for requires a long term commitment.

The first problem, and most common is that the program design does not fit a number of things that are particular to the individual. More frequently than not the program has been passed on by a friend, read in a magazine, website or some sort of media. This articles or suggestions need to be taken as a guideline and then be fit to the individual. Your current state of fitness, health and injury history, time availability, exercise experience, all play a role in what is applicable to you.

The second most common problem is the approach. Yes, the approach, how you approach your goal can be just as important as the program you choose. If you are looking for a quick fix, something to get you to summer, snap a few pictures and then let go, you may or may not find the right program. Our approach here at Reliquum is different. We are looking to make long lasting changes that can benefit you for years to come, along the way maybe one of those stepping stones is that summer picture! Here at the steps to set up a successful fitness and health program.

Step #1 - Commit. Period.
Without commitment you will quit at the first sign of struggle, you will not do that extra rep, eat what you were not supposed to, not run those extra 3 minutes and 41 seconds.

Step #2 - Assess 
Assess were you are. We are all different, capabilities, exercise experience, goals, restrictions, etc. As an individual we need to have an honest assessment of where we are. Have I been consistent with the number of workouts that I get in every week? Have I consistently eaten what I know works for me? Am I working as hard or with as much intensity as I need to meet my goals? Do I have the necessary knowledge to do this? And the list goes on.

Step #3 - Set a Schedule....That works for YOU! 
Third step is set up a schedule. The schedule should fit with your personal and work life. The schedule should provide a degree of consistency of availability.

Step #4 - Plan. Plan. Plan
Plan ahead! Use the answers of step #2 and your past exercise history to come up with the most efficient plan that works for you. Not only to achieve your goal(s) but a plan that you will be able to stick with.  For example, if you have 2 days and you have 90 minutes each one of those days and you have been training for a year maybe try two 45 minute full body workouts, followed by 30 minutes of cardio, and 15 minutes of stretching and foam rolling is what fits your current situation and your goal.

Step #5 - Clean It Up
Fifth step is to clean up and structure your nutrition. You have to make a conscious effort to eat better, and I am not talking about dieting, but eating better.  I’ll give you the key words or phrases; “you have to cook it!, Yes, it is better than if you can just heat it”, “size matters!-portion control”, “plan-cook ahead”.

Step #6 - Reevaluate  
Reevaluate, be balanced, give each item the level of importance it deserves. The less concentrated your bet, the more balanced your approach the more likely you are to have small but consistent improvements. This will allow you to give time to time, be happier with the process, en route to a better you, all this without having to go out to far out of your way.

Step #7 - Action
And the seventh step is, well, take action. Let’s apply a little physics and psychology. Newton’s First Law states “When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force”. In other words, if you want to change your current state of “inertia”, or the direction that you are going, apply force, take action. The Third Law statesWhen one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body”. In other words, once you get yourself going you will have to continue to apply force, take action, to keep that momentum and apply force back against the friction of that body called life, life happens.

Simply put, take action, apply force and then keep moving.


Stepping into Summer!

Summer is arriving! Here in PDX summers are taken seriously, the city turns into hyper active mode, add to that the natural beauty of our city and the endless extra array of music, food and activities (at least it seems that way!), who wouldn’t want to be outside. But the reality is that some of us are not ready for that quite just yet, maybe some of us cannot afford to lose any ground in all the progress that we have made in our Health and Fitness and life overall, and some of us just have way too many responsibilities and demanding life’s to even start thinking about it much less be ready for it.

Here at Reliquum, we take it seriously as well. That said we have a  three-part blog series to help you get ready for summer regardless of your current position.

The most important thing is to have a plan. A plan though that is doable, attainable and sustainable. The first thing is that you have to do to create that plan is to set some goals. The goals can look like this;

  • Be in running condition
  • Have my beach body
  • Have my weekly healthy eating habits in practice
  • Have my workout schedule in place so I can enjoy my family and friends without skipping workouts
  • Make sure I have the right weekly structure to maintain what I have while enjoying the summer
  • Abs!!!

    Here are Reliquum’s  guidelines  to start your weekly program
  1. Have a weekly structure

  2. Strength training at least twice a week or what is necessary to meet your goals

  3. Cardiovascular work at least twice a week or what is necessary to meet your goals

  4. At least an hour of stretching, yoga or meditation per week

  5. At least two hours of ME time

  6. A healthy sleeping regimen

  7. A nutritional regimen based on natural whole foods

  8. The personal appropriate split of exercise, nutrition/fun, reward


Do a self check or discuss this with your personal trainer if you have one. This will be a good starting point and it will get you ready to better implement the blog series as we go into each topic in more detail. Check back this Friday for part two of our series.




Welcome to the Reliquum Blog!

Welcome to the Reliquum Blog!

Finally, the Reliquum Training Studio blog is live! You may or may have not heard about us, our shop opened in January of 2016. Our mission here at Reliquum, is not just about sets, reps and calories, it’s about Balance. Reliquum is a way of life. We are excited to not only share more with our current clients and supporters, but, to also reach a broader audience and have an impact not only in the Health and Fitness profession and services but in society as a whole.

Our facility is a Personal Training only facility. The key differentiator at our shop is that besides the physical assessment that we do, we also implement a holistic assessment which is basically a ten thousand  foot view of everything that makes up your life that we provide and use to set a program for an individual. The ideas that we will be sharing on the blog will be a reflection of that process.

Check back often, we hope to that the blog is inspiring and educational for everyone!