At-Home Workout Must-Haves


If you like a flexible workout schedule, then you probably enjoy working out at home. Home workouts can be just as effective as going to the gym. Working out at home has many advantages, as you don't have to pay for a gym membership or transport to the gym, and it can be a private time you spend with yourself. The exercises you do at home can be just as useful as the ones you do at the gym, without all the expensive workout equipment.

When exercising at home, the first thing you need to do is create space. It does not have to be a lot of space, just enough that you can stretch without bumping into things. You only need a few necessary things that will help improve your workout significantly, and here are types of at-home equipment to consider, and Stay Fit Housing recommends CanDo:

Yoga or aerobics mat
This is an essential workout accessory, whether at home or at the gym. Doing exercise on the floor can lead to severe injuries that you can avoid by doing your workout on a mat. Different types of mats are available on the market, they range in style, material, color, price and design, and whichever mat you choose to buy depends on your budget, your tastes, and the kind of exercise you intend to do on your mat. The most popular types of mats are foam yoga mats, rubber mats, cork mats, and polyurethane-rubber mats. Each of these mats has their advantages and disadvantages, but if you are a beginner, look out for a soft, non-slip yoga mat that will give you some extra cushion while doing stretches, planks, push-ups, and other exercises.

Weighted jump rope
You probably used a regular jump rope when you were little, and it was fun because you could skip for hours without getting tired. However, to optimize cardio, you should upgrade from a regular jump rope to a weighted one. A weighted jump rope will add some resistance and get your heart rate up in a shorter period, and it will also help you build more strength and endurance while you skip. If you want to make it even more challenging, add double-unders, high knees, and criss-cross between jumps. Make sure you clear an ample space while using your weighted jump rope, or even better, jump rope in an open area to avoid breaking things.

Foam roller
A foam roller is a necessity, especially if you like to engage in high-intensity workouts. Strength-training exercises like weightlifting, squats, and core workouts can drain you and leave you sore. That is why you need rest days after intense workout sessions; rest days don't necessarily mean exercise-free days, as you should do low-intensity exercises like stretches and yoga to relieve sore muscles. A foam roller is great for this, as it has three pressure zones that will help you to increase flexibility in your back, hamstrings, quads, and more, and it will ease muscle soreness and help to increase your range of motion. Just relax, lay in a comfortable place and position, and roll away.

Soft medicine ball
Traditional medicine balls can be dangerous around the house, as either you, your kids, or pet could toss it around and break something. To avoid this, you can add a soft medicine ball; it still provides the weight you need, as the balls range from four to forty pounds, but it is made from leather so you can safely throw it or toss it while doing your workouts.

If you want a total body workout, you can try out kettlebell exercises. You can purchase an adjustable kettlebell, with a weight range of ten to forty pounds, and you can choose whichever weight you need for your particular exercise.

Resistance bands
Resistance bands are an essential workout gear for anyone serious about working out at home. Mini resistance bands are portable enough and incredibly effective, and they have three levels of resistance that you can utilize for stretches, mobility exercises, yoga, and more.

There is most likely a long rack of dumbbells with different weights available at your local gym, but you can't have that at home unless you have a personal gym space. This does not mean you can't have the same benefits; you can buy adjustable dumbbells that come with a storage rack so you can easily slide it somewhere safe after you workout.

Workout DVDs
Coming up with a workout routine can be challenging, especially when you are a beginner, but you can't let that discourage you from continuing your daily exercise. All you need to do is purchase a workout DVD that will guide you through your workouts and also help you to maintain proper form as you exercise. There are many great exercise DVDs that you can use, and there are beginner, intermediate, and advanced DVDs available for all at-home athletes.

Emmanuel Domingo is a fitness and health enthusiast whose everyday goal is to stay active and fit, so he has much to share with his audience. In addition to regularly hiking and dancing, he also loves focusing on nutrition by cooking healthy, flavorful, and exciting meals for himself and his girlfriend.



Exercise on a Plane


What can you do if you travel a lot and can’t get to the gym enough? Well, you can always do your exercise on the airplane itself!

Bizarre, I know, but after a long flight home recently, I was surprised to find the lovely flight attendant, Tasha, doing biceps curls with the water bottles in the back of the plane. This brought a smile to my face, and here is her routine:

  1. Water bottle curls x 25 reps
  2. Squat to press with water bottles x 25
  3. Lunge to curl with water bottles x 25
  4. Lateral raises on a single leg with water bottles x 25
  5. Reverse fly with water bottles x 25
  6. Pushups on seat x 25
  7. Dips on the seat x 25
  8. Reverse crunches on the seat x 25

So, for a total of 200 reps, you get your airplane program groove on. You must make sure you stay seated if the plane requires you to do so. Safety first, ALWAYS!  Otherwise, keep your fitness going no matter where life may bring you.

And if Yoga is your exercise of choice, click here to check out this Yoga on a Plane routine.

Jenn Zerling (“JZ”) is the wellness ambassador for Stay Fit Housing guests. JZ is a life-long athlete, lover of life and people, and wishes to help America break the chains of obesity. She provides customized nutrition coaching and fitness training services designed to help all guests optimize Stay Fit Living. JZ’s fitness and nutrition writings can be found in multiple media resources (including, and her JZ Fitness Nutrition app is available on iTunes and Android.


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Easy Tips to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution and Stay Fit

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Nearly 70% of people who make New Year’s resolutions resolve to get healthier. The making of resolutions seems to get just as much hype as the percentage of people who fall off the wagon. With the rise in wellness brands and health consciousness, it is easier to find healthy lifestyle options that fit our goals and interests. Follow these three easy tips to choose an option that is best for you, and make getting healthy a resolution you will definitely keep.

Tip #1: Choose activities and foods that you enjoy, and that fit your lifestyle. Love a mix of cardio and strength-training and can devote a full hour to your workouts? Orange Theory might be your new addiction. Want to feel like you’re cycling in a nightclub? Indoor cycling – like at SoulCycle – may be your soul mate workout. Check out times that classes are offered to make sure you will actually get there. If you have never woken up before 6 AM in your life, chances are a 5 AM CrossFit class is not the way to go.

The same goes with food. The number one reason diets fail is because cravings take over, so choose a way of eating that either still incorporates some of your favorite foods – like IIFYM – or offers plenty of options to recreate those meals with new ingredients – such as Ketogenic. Look at your work and personal schedules: you may be a meal prepping All-Star, or someone who needs to order from a meal delivery service. Yes, you are making changes to your current activities and way of eating, but the more aligned they are with your interests, the more likely you will be to stick to them!

Tip #2: Set realistic goals. Let’s first address the goal of “losing weight”. This is a statement that we need to avoid using, because “losing weight” could also mean losing muscle. which we do not want. Those of use who want to lose weight must understand that the goal is to lose body fat, and preserve or gain lean muscle mass.

While we’re on the topic of body fat loss vs. “weight loss”, may I recommend tossing your scale out the window? As Steve Maraboli says, “It’s true, the scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love.”

How about we take fat loss off the table completely and set more fun, realistic goals? Water is one of the key ingredients to improving your health, and most of us do not drink enough of it.  Make a goal to drink a gallon of water per day, and each time you achieve the goal, celebrate the win! Create a little 30-day gallon challenge, and at the end of those 30 days do something nice for yourself – new workout gear, new water bottle, etc.

Last point on the topic of realistic goals: the rate at which we lose body fat and gain muscle is a completely individual experience. Take your eyes off of the infomercials on TV and #TransformationTuesday pictures we see on social and turn your vision inward. Your body loves you, and works hard to keep you alive. Honor where you are, and feel awesome about where you are going and the pace in which you are getting there! 

Tip #3: Change your mindset from lack to abundance. A diet can feel isolating, like when you’re out with friends and the menu is filled with everything you “can’t have”. Is there truly anything you “can’t have”? Absolutely not, and you may choose to indulge a bit in something that is outside of your plan. If and when that does happen (and it will, because you are living life), be kind to yourself and realize that the sky is not falling, you have not “failed”, and that you’ll go right back to living your healthy lifestyle tomorrow. FYI: many restaurants are happy to accommodate your dietary needs – just ask!

Change your mindset from “dieting” to adopting a “lifestyle”. The word “diet” literally contains “die” in it. Diets can make you feel like you are dying from hunger, deprivation, and the like. If a workout is something you “have” to do instead of want to do, how often will you make it a priority? Instead of believing that you are on a crash diet and crazy workout plan to lose weight, keep telling yourself that you have chosen to thrive in 2018 with a healthy lifestyle.

There is an abundance of healthy lifestyle choices, from boutique fitness studios and eating programs, to whole food meal delivery services and travel. Choose the style of eating and exercising that best fits your goals and interests, be realistic in your goal-setting (and award yourself for the victories), and adopt the mindset that you are choosing a new lifestyle because you love and honor your body. This is going to be your best year yet!

Kate Jaramillo is a certified Spinning Instructor and a Ketogenic living expert. Kate has been leading the way in the Ketogenic community for quite some time as the Creator of Ketogenic Living 101, Ketogenic Living 102, the Ketogenic Living Coach Certification, and co-creator of the Keto40. She currently resides in Miami, FL with her husband, three daughters, and fur children. Connect with Kate on Instagram.

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Some Tips to Surviving Thanksgiving

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Even though I am a fitness and nutrition coach, I do not advise my family, friends, and clients to skip the turkey and gravy and decadent pumpkin pie. I say go in with a plan so that you don't make yourself sick, and you can enjoy your holiday without any restrictions.

1) Exercise on Thanksgiving day. Elevating your heart rate through high intensity interval training (HIIT) has been proven a gagillion times to create an increase in your metabolic rate which can last up to 24 hours. How cool that your metabolism is revved up for when you dive into your feast?

2) Drink plenty of water. Water is excellent for decreasing the salt volume in your blood from all the treats you'll be eating on this day. In addition, water throughout your celebration means less booze in your system.

3) Be creative with some fun veggie dishes for your company. I dedicated a whole VEGGIES section on my JZ Fitness website for you.  My new one, which was a hit, is called wing sauced cauliflower. 

4) Get plenty of rest the night before Thanksgiving. Going to bed late lowers your immunity, thereby making you more susceptible to getting a post Turkey Day sniffle.

5) Enjoy everyone, and every moment of your celebration. Realize that Thanksgiving is only one day out of the year. However, a life of gratitude on the daily can truly lift up your spirits and provide you with true fulfillment for every day of the year.

Happy Thanksgiving and Stay Fit!

Jenn Zerling (“JZ”) is the wellness ambassador for Stay Fit Housing guests. JZ is a life-long athlete, lover of life and people, and wishes to help America break the chains of obesity. She provides customized nutrition coaching and fitness training services designed to help all guests optimize Stay Fit Living. JZ’s fitness and nutrition writings can be found in multiple media resources (including, and her JZ Fitness Nutrition app is available on iTunes and Android.

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A Stay Fit Halloween


Holiday Season is HERE. Officially. Halloween, Thanksgiving, all the December Holidays and a Bang for a New Year! So now what? Approach with purpose. Set your standards. Be the best you can be for yourself no matter what gets tossed your way. Leading a Stay Fit life requires you to put yourself first, and here are 3 tips to Stay Fit this Halloween:

1) If you go to a party, eat before you go! Eat what you are supposed to eat. Don't know? Get the JZ Fitness Nutrition app (available on iTunes and Android) and see some meal suggestions under the STUDY tab.

2) Limit the candy intake. Bring meals to work and maybe pack an occasional square of organic dark chocolate. Whole Foods has some options. So while everyone at work is eating candy, choose "real" chocolate and stay away from sugary snacks. You can always get Juice Plus gummies which offer you all the antioxidants from 20 different fruits and veggies in gummy form tricking your taste buds! It's Kosher. It's NSF certified. It's FDA regulated. And, JZ FITNESS approved. Booya!

3) Whatever you do, do NOT eat candy at NIGHT. If you must eat the junk candy because it is your personal tradition each year, then do it around a high intensity workout. Allow yourself the chance to elevate your metabolism so that when you put all that processed sugar into your system, your body uses most of it during its Oxygen debt from post exercise metabolism. Is it ideal?  Nope. Is it better than just eating candy without creating an increase in metabolism? Theoretically. So if weight loss is your NUMBER ONE goal going into 2018, I would stick to 1 and 2 and just form some mental toughness. You will feel very proud of yourself every time you do!


Jenn Zerling (“JZ”) is the wellness ambassador for Stay Fit Housing guests. JZ is a life-long athlete, lover of life and people, and wishes to help America break the chains of obesity. She provides customized nutrition coaching and fitness training services designed to help all guests optimize Stay Fit Living. JZ’s fitness and nutrition writings can be found in multiple media resources (including, and her JZ Fitness Nutrition app is available on iTunes and Android.



Best Pre-Workout Food


Everyone always asks me what they should eat prior to exercising in the morning vs. the afternoon vs. the evening. Pre-workout fuel has been a streaming conversation for years and while there are answers to this question, everyone is going to require a different answer depending on several variables. Here are some variables that you should consider when putting together your plan for pre-workout meals. Note that you should always get clearance from a doctor before engaging in any new physical activity or nutrition plan. For sample meals for your day, get the JZ Fitness Nutrition app (available on iTunes and Android), which has over 50 sample meals that will help you age well, feel amazing and maximize performance.

1) Are you taking medications? No matter what time you train in the day, you must eat something prior to exercise if you take meds. Some medications can affect blood pressure, blood sugars, heart beat, you name it. Don’t mess with your body. Having a meal that is low in fiber and fat, but higher in protein and carbohydrates will allow your body to shuttle sugar to the working muscles, keeping blood sugars regulated. The protein will help transport nutrients into the cells while exercising. Make sure you drink 8 oz of water prior and during your activity.

2) Are you pregnant? In this case, you will need food because when you exercise, you are fueling your own body’s metabolism and musculo-skeletal systems. If you don’t eat something light, then you won’t have enough fuel for your workout. Always listen to your body when you train. Some items to consider are a fruit and a light protein shake * (recipe below) . Remember, you are training and eating for two people. Do not deplete your systems. Pregnant women should never be on any weight loss plan!

3) Are you diabetic?  You should always be checking your blood sugars throughout the day, especially in the AM if you workout then. Have a balanced meal with a low glycemic carbohydrate such as a fruit smoothie. Always carry sugar with you when you train. While I am not a big fan of sodas, I have a friend who is a medical doctor with type 1 diabetes. He carries a soda with him every time he trains. The type of sugar in soda empties into the blood stream quicker than a fruit would (and fruit juice for that matter). Please note that this is the ONLY condition to drink a soda. as I am very much against sodas otherwise.

4) Are you prone to hypoglycemia?  Everyone decreases blood sugar levels through exercise, especially moderate to vigorous physical activity. With that said, hypoglycemia, or a drop in blood sugar, can lead to fainting, lightheadedness or even more severe consequences if not tended to. This is why I recommend eating small frequent meals throughout the day and using the JZ Fitness Nutrition app to choose balanced meals.  Morning workouts should consist of a light protein shake* since it is easily digestible. Make sure you leave enough time prior to exercise because despite a shake being in liquid form, it still passes through the gut which should be cleared by the time you exercise to avoid gastritis.

5) If you train in the morning, do you leave more than an hour between eating and exercising?  If not, start setting that alarm a bit earlier. Morning training is great because your metabolism is high and it sets up for wonderful benefits throughout the day. As I already mentioned, a light protein shake* is beneficial. Check out the JZ Fitness Nutrition app to learn about some easy to make shake recipes. Leave at least an hour between training and your shake.

6) How long are you training for? You don’t need a lot of calories and carbs for a workout that lasts less than an hour, unless it is high intensity interval training style (HIIT). HIIT is the only workout that requires carbs such as a fruit, brown rice, quinoa or oatmeal coupled with a protein. If you are overweight and looking to burn fat, then cut the grains altogether and allow your carbs to come from low glycemic fruits that are listed in my JZ Fitness Nutrition app.

7) What type of exercise will you be doing? (Cardio, strength, yoga, sports) The type of exercise you do will determine what you eat. There are several HIIT programs in my book, but if you want to experience a HIIT workout at its best, try an Orangetheory Fitness class. For this class, you should eat more carbs compared to if you did yoga, for example. In fact, Yoga is the ONLY methodology of exercise that you can skip breakfast to practice because the best conditions include not filling your gut up for when you practice. I practice hot yoga and we flow a lot.  When I personally eat too much prior, it isn’t a pretty situation. I am bloated and can barely contract my abs. You never want this situation for your practice. So unless you practice during the day a few hours prior to practice, I say eat afterwards and just stay well hydrated during class.

At the end of the day, everyone is different. I recommend that you keep a food log to help you determine what types of food equate to optimal performance for you, so that you can learn your own rhythm and maximize your potential!

* JZ's Light Protein Shake:
Plant Based Powder or WHEY
Handful of Spinach
1 Cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk (Vanilla)
1 tbsp Peanut Butter


Jenn Zerling (“JZ”) is the wellness ambassador for Stay Fit Housing guests. JZ is a life-long athlete, lover of life and people, and wishes to help America break the chains of obesity. She provides customized nutrition coaching and fitness training services designed to help all guests optimize Stay Fit Living. JZ’s fitness and nutrition writings can be found in multiple media resources (including, and her JZ Fitness Nutrition app is available on iTunes and Android.



New Year's Resolution Solution: Sexy Arms in Six Moves

It's the New Year. Let's avoid all clichés and talk and jump right into action. Start satisfying your New Year's resolution with this Sexy Arms in Six Moves routine with our Stay Fit Housing Director of Guest Wellness, Jenn Zerling ("JZ"). Work out in your home, and begin the quest to Staying Fit while you stay with us.  Check out JZ's workout on the Huffington Post by clicking HERE

Jenn Zerling (“JZ”) is the wellness ambassador for Stay Fit Housing guests. JZ is a life-long athlete, lover of life and people, and wishes to help America break the chains of obesity. She provides customized nutrition coaching and fitness training services designed to help all guests optimize Stay Fit Living. JZ’s fitness and nutrition writings can be found in multiple media resources (including, and her JZ Fitness Nutrition app is available on iTunes and Android.



Work Your Edge This Holiday

‘Tis the season to give back to families, friends and charitable organizations. Be reminded that it is also the time of year to especially give to YOURSELF. Do NOT let the holiday season side swipe you. Keep your hands on your steering wheel and drive in the direction that you wish to go.

What does this mean? Holidays parties, deadlines before shorter weeks, family visiting from outta town. It doesn’t matter. Those are external variables that should never take over your being and your decisions to nurture your own needs. Rather than stress, explore and work your edge.

Here are some tips for working your edge this holiday season that can involve your family too. You first. Set the bar at a level you can attain:

1) If you get 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity in each week, great! Just make sure it really works you out. Walking is NOT exercise. We walk as human beings so if you count walking and you do not have any major orthopedic conditions, then you are foolin’ yourself!

2) Do a 30 day challenge with yourself on the nutrition front. Get my app (on iTunes and Android). Log every day. Make it your business to treat yourself to whatever only three times in the next couple of months; Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years eve.

3) Each week, schedule a relaxing outlet such as a spa mani and pedi, massage, or a trip to the bookstore to just sit with yourself and not have your dang cell phone in your hands. If you do this already, then make it your deal that you only get it if you do numbers 1 & 2. Do not reward yourself unless you’ve earned it!

Have fun this winter. Get everyone in on the action. Incentivize yourself and even your family, friends and/or co-workers to be fit. Usually, fit people exercise for the intrinsic rewards attached to being fit. Don’t let the season change your patterns. Make it fun. Get everyone involved in the plan. 

Here are some fun suggestions:

1) Create a point system. You can pair up or do it individually. The family member with the most points gets to pick what you do the next day on your trip. Here are some point accumulating ideas for how to gain momentum:
Vegetable consumption = 2 points
Water bottle = 2 points
Exercise (30 minutes minimum) = 3 points
Taking the stairs vs. the elevator = 5 points
The person with the highest points wins what to do on the trip (whether it’s the restaurant to eat at for dinner, or the attraction you all visit). The person with the lowest points is responsible for tallying up the points the next day.

2) Create a donation jar. Each individual of the family must donate at least $1 to the jar if they participate in an unhealthy behavior this holiday season. You can pick one item to chart for each month as a reward system. For example, you can use weight loss or exercise minutes on a graph and the family member with the most marks by their name wins the jar of accumulated money. However, here is the catch, that person is only permitted to use that money on something fitness or nutrition related.

3) Rotate cooking days. For example, if there are 4 in the family, everyone gets to cook every 4 days. That person must present their dish to the family and describe the different macronutrients in the dish. This will teach the members of the family proper nutrition, while keeping the family unit strong as they eat together at home.

It is very easy to keep the family fit for the holidays. Pick a fun twist so that everyone gets involved. It isn’t about losing weight this holiday season. It is about preserving health so that the New Year brings prosperity and good health in the New Year for everyone.

Jenn Zerling (“JZ”) is the wellness ambassador for Stay Fit Housing guests. JZ is a life-long athlete, lover of life and people, and wishes to help America break the chains of obesity. She provides customized nutrition coaching and fitness training services designed to help all guests optimize Stay Fit Living. JZ’s fitness and nutrition writings can be found in multiple media resources (including, and her JZ Fitness Nutrition app is available on iTunes and Android.



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Sleep is King

You’ve heard it a million times and now it is time to hear it a million and one times. YOU MUST SLEEP. There is no substitute, there is no medication, there is no coffee strong enough to outdo your need for sleep. Therefore, start paying closer attention to this very important age management variable. In Breaking the Chains of Obesity, tool #29 covers the symptoms of poor sleep, including:

1) Irritability: So if you have an attitude, your sleep isn’t good. If you want to pull someone's hair out at work, or throw  your cell phone across the room over an unnecessary conversation, then, well… maybe you need more than more sleep (clearing my throat).

2) Constipation: This can also be from a lack of fiber in your diet and some other variables, too.

3) Increased Cravings: Your brain will want to eat lots of sugar the next day and for some, more salty stuff. These cravings are exacerbated.

4) Low Concentration and Mental Acuity: If your day job requires you to think, then you better sleep, otherwise you will not be at your best. There is nothing worse than a worthlessly-tired employee - sorry!

5) Low Motivation: Lack of sleep will cause you to feel blah and just not willing to do much more than the bare minimums. Do yourself a favor, allow your body that rest so that you wake up ready to conquer the universe (well, at least your day…).

6) Depression: There is such thing as clinical depression, and my sister works with these people. However, if you do not sleep, then you will think you are depressed when your mind is simply foggy. Foggy minds can lead people into dark times.

7) Anxiety: That’s right. No sleep and up all night will wake you up the next day feeling up tight.  So do yourself a favor, get your butt to bed.

8) Very Low Energy: That cup of joe ain’t gonna cut it. But if you sleep, and you eat right, you will ditch the coffee cause you just won’t need it ... unless of course you simply like the taste.

9) Decreased Weight Loss: Ooh, are you turned off yet? Of course, if no sleep means no weight loss, then are you motivated now to get to bed?

10) Increased Cellular Damage: As in oxidative stress. Oxidative stress to the cells will lead to a disease. So spare yourself, and allow your body to repair itself.  And the only way to repair itself is…. (drum roll please) SLEEEEEEEP!

Jenn Zerling (“JZ”) is the wellness ambassador for Stay Fit Housing guests. JZ is a life-long athlete, lover of life and people, and wishes to help America break the chains of obesity. She provides customized nutrition coaching and fitness training services designed to help all guests optimize Stay Fit Living. JZ’s fitness and nutrition writings can be found in multiple media resources (including, and her JZ Fitness Nutrition app is available on iTunes and Android.

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Mindful Meditation for the Business Traveler

Are you a beginner meditator and looking for some advice on where to begin meditation?
Reduce travel stress with mindful meditation.

Traveling often presents stress overload. Working non-stop on the plane or the train with little downtime and not being in the comfort of your own space can be overwhelming. It is important to take care of your body and mind, and practicing the techniques of mindful mediation is a key way to significantly reduce travel stress.

Meditation is the art of training your mind, similar to the way that we use fitness as an approach to training the body. For most, this is a very challenging thing to do. The key is to not judge or become frustrated when the thoughts float in, but to simply be aware that they are there and then let them go with a deep breath.

Here are tips to get you into a renewed headspace while on-the-go with work travel.

1) The breath
There is no required way to breathe in this type of meditation, but I found it helpful to take long deep inhales through the nose, completely filling the lower stomach like a balloon followed by a bottomless exhale through the nose where the stomach becomes flat. The breath is an amazingly POWERFUL tool! When you catch yourself thinking during meditation, bring the attention back to the breath.

Breathe In,  
Breathe Out.
That’s it.
Take a deep exhale through the nose to let the thought sail away. Again, there is no right way of breathing, but being very aware of the breath does help focus the mind.

2) Create a comfortable place to sit
It is important to set up an environment where you that sets the tone for relaxation, and frees you from distractions. Pick a seated position in which you can sit comfortably for at least 10 minutes. There are many variations to how you can sit; ultimately it is up to you. It's great to simply sit on the floor, but it's also fine to sit against a wall or even using a blanket, cushion, or low bench. The main point is that you are physically comfortable (you don’t want to move around too much) and the spine is straight to allow the flow of energy through the chakras.

I like to imagine that my spine is a tree that I can lean against. I sit on the floor with my legs crossed comfortably in front of me. I’m happy when I can stay in the same position throughout a meditation sit, but there is also no reason to feel tense and uncomfortable, so adjust when necessary. With practice, the spine will build up postural-supporting muscles, allowing you to sit comfortably for longer periods of time.

3) Decide on a mantra or technique to bring the focus back
Coming up with a mantra -- some word or phrase that you connect with -- and repeating it in your mind will help keep external thoughts from entering the mind in the first place and bring the focus back if thoughts arise.

I choose happiness.
I am perfectly at peace.
I am in the present moment.

You can say whatever you choose to yourself that has personal meaning or is significant to you at that time, such as“ I choose happiness” or “I am perfectly at peace”. What you use as your mantra or affirmation is completely up to you, just give it dedication and practice to figure out what means something to you.

The flow-like quality of mindfulness meditation is wonderful because there is no pressure to NOT THINK. It’s okay that thoughts come in; the most important part is to be MINDFUL of what those thoughts are. We should never change ourselves into some preconceived notion of what we “should” be, but we should rather be with ourselves as we already are.

4) Acknowledge your thoughts … and let them go
Part of having a mindful meditation practice is working with all those little thoughts that pop in. Of course thoughts will arise, that is just part of being human! Try to imagine and acknowledge those thoughts by admitting to yourself, “Okay, that is a thought,” and then focus on your next inhale. During your mediation, always practice working with the breath.

5) Make meditation a habit!
If you desire to find a significant change in the way you handle stress while traveling, it is important to make meditation a part of your daily routine. Creating a ritual for yourself is a great way to make positivity and mindfulness become part of who you are. Find what works best for you. If you have some time you can light a candle, burn some incense, and use essential oils -- anything that will get your senses flowing.

I like to listen to healing Zen-type music; it helps bring positive, motivating energy into my meditation. Having a little sacred space in your own home is a great way to remind you to practice at least 10 minutes a day on nothing but yourself. Make a commitment to journal daily about your experiences!

Observe how transformative this practice can be.

Yours in health,
Megan McKenzie

Megan McKenzie possesses a deep interest in health and wellness. She teaches Vinyasa Yoga, sharing her meditative practice with her students. Passionate about healthy food and her sweet Labradoodle, Murphy, Megan is sensitive to those around her and is eager to give back to the world. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram

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5 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling


1) Get Sleep
When you are traveling for work, it’s easy for your sleep cycle to be disturbed, especially if you are in a different time zone. Sleep is essential to keeping a focused mind for making those important business decisions while on the road. Sleep also keeps your immune system robust, helping you fight off those germs you come into contact with on the road. So don’t cheat yourself and get your 8 hours of sleep while on the road!

2) Get Moving
Sitting in meetings all day long or being in a plane for hours at a time wrecks your metabolism and can make you cranky. Wherever you travel, there is a gym somewhere close by. Take advantage of your 10 complimentary fitness classes by Stay Fit Housing so that you can keep your body moving and Stay Fit on the road.  Even thirty minutes of resistance training or twenty minutes of high-intensity intervals will have your body thanking you later, and you’ll sleep better, too.

3) Get Hydrated
Your body is 70% water by volume. In order to maintain proper hydration and keep your internal processes working optimally, you need to stay hydrated. While on the road for work, make sure you drink at least 64 oz. of water daily. Don’t worry about having to go to the bathroom all the time, you can find them everywhere, even on planes!

4) Get Supplements
If you don’t already take supplements to help support your immune system, then start! Good immune boosters to take when you are on the road include: Vitamin D3 10,000IU daily, Spirulina, chlorella, Turmeric, and green tea extract. I like to take a few chewable Airborne tablets before I get on a plane and then again when I get to my hotel room. Repeat on the return trip. 

5) Get Help
Going to the doctor is inevitable, no matter how healthy you are. When you are traveling, there is the added anxiety of figuring out where to go. When you are sick, the last thing you want to do is sit in an Urgent Care facility. Well, now there is telemedicine, where you can talk to a doctor over the phone. If your issue doesn’t need any additional intervention, then a telemedicine doctor can call in medication into a pharmacy close by to where you are staying. Many concierge practices like Hybrid MD offer this service, which is perfect for the busy professional.

Stay Healthy and Stay Fit!

Dr. Colin X Jairam is the CEO & CMO of Orange County's most innovative medical practice in Southern California, Hybrid MD. Hybrid MD offers urgent care services, age management medicine, laser and aesthetic medicine, and telemedicine, all under one roof. 

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To Indulge or Not to Indulge?


I come from a family with a history of obesity, and like I mention in my book, Breaking the Chains of Obesity, 107 Tools, I grew up eating junk food. From chocolate chip pancakes to pizza and even pints of different flavored ice creams to choose from, I would indulge in all my food pleasures throughout my childhood. It wasn’t until my teenage years when I started to correlate this type of eating to my body image. Thank goodness I was an athlete growing up because if I wasn’t, who knows what type of body I would have.

With that said, it has only been over the last 10 years of my fitness career that I’ve taken my nutrition to the levels at which it stands today. I eat organically, I cut out both processed and virtually all high glycemic carbohydrates, I avoid sugar, I avoid caffeine, and I barely drink alcohol. I am very active and appear and feel very young and vivacious. This is why I eat this way. I love feeling great. I love sleeping well. I love feeling positive every day. I love feeling young. I love my sharp mind.

Do I ever eat “junk food?” Yes I do. And when I do it, I eat whatever I want. In other words, I never eat “healthier” diet food just to avoid calories, fat and carbs. I fulfill my deepest childhood pleasures by reaching for the carrot cake, pizza or Carvel ice cream cone if I feel like it. If I’m going to eat junk food, it better be worth every lick and every bite. It better bring me back to my childhood years when family surrounded me and the taste brought me to heaven. And I encourage you to do the same.

If you are on a weight loss journey, get the JZ Fitness Nutrition app, available on iTunes and Android. Learn it and embody it.  If you do that every day and treat yourself once or twice a month to whatever you want, you will never be on a weight loss journey again. I understand that it might take time for some of you to lose weight, but at the end of the day, learning how to live an optimal life, with treats intermingled throughout the month, will allow you to lead a fulfilling life without always feeling guilty about your nutrition choices. I teach people to eat for fuel. But if you have the occasional Sprinkles cupcake because you’re in control and you want to celebrate occasionally, then just do it. Stop feeling bad about it. Just don’t do it more than twice a month. Fair enough?

Check out THIS clip which stimulated my thoughts around this post.

Jenn Zerling (“JZ”) is the wellness ambassador for Stay Fit Housing guests. JZ is a life-long athlete, lover of life and people, and wishes to help America break the chains of obesity. She provides customized nutrition coaching and fitness training services designed to help all guests optimize Stay Fit Living. JZ’s fitness and nutrition writings can be found in multiple media resources (including, and her JZ Fitness Nutrition app is available on iTunes and Android.

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Is it Possible to Travel and Stay Fit?

Consider it your home away from home.  That is, no matter where your career takes you, just be the person you normally are when you’re at home, just at Stay Fit Housing.  Stay Fit Housing is exactly what the name states – you get to stay fit, even when you’re traveling.  Despite the erratic schedule, the bombardment of meetings, the lack of familiarity of where you’re visiting, this will be your home away from home.  How?  You have a team of passionate, five-star committed people who will walk you through an exceptional experience throughout your stay.

I’m JZ, the Director of Guest Wellness for Stay Fit Housing and owner of JZ FITNESS, a brand that develops programming for people to maximize their potential through optimal living.  When I was invited to join the Stay Fit Housing Team, I felt honored and looked at it as another opportunity to extend my teachings to traveling executives who want to stay fit on the road. Is this really a possibility? Absolutely!  In all my years of coaching clients, especially busy executives who travel two weeks out of every month, I found that the only two missing links to people falling off track were their lack of motivation and/or lack of resources.  If people have motivation, but no resources, then Stay Fit Housing is a dream-come-true for them.  For example, one of our guests had to travel for work, which interfered with training for her triathlon, which was only a couple of months down the road.  As an athlete, I know the vigor that goes into training, and I did my research to find a high intensity interval training gym and a triathlon club for her in the city she’s staying in.  She also downloaded my JZ FITNESS Nutrition app on her iPhone, and I coached her in nutrition.  She loved this luxury and had never experienced this convenience and service before.  She claimed that her travels were seamless, not only with her lifestyle needs, but with virtually everything else she needed.  This is Stay Fit Housing.

On the other hand, if someone has the resources but not the motivation, then perhaps the Stay Fit Housing experience can be one’s induction phase to a healthy way of life.  Either way, every guest receives the utmost amount of service throughout their stay so that not only are on-the road-stressors heavily reduced, but the guest is able to feel more “at home” on the road.

We are very excited to announce our Stay Fit Blog which is now open to health and wellness contributors who are looking to offer viable tips for traveling in good health for our guests and prospective guests. Please email if you would like to join our invigorating community. Living an optimal life is indeed a lifestyle, and with the right resources in place, anyone can do it.  An optimal body is an optimal life.  

We look forward to serving you with helpful on-the-road tips for those who wish to live well, wherever the road takes you.

Jenn Zerling (“JZ”) is the wellness ambassador for Stay Fit Housing guests. JZ is a life-long athlete, lover of life and people, and wishes to help America break the chains of obesity. She provides customized nutrition coaching and fitness training services designed to help all guests optimize Stay Fit Living. JZ’s fitness and nutrition writings can be found in multiple media resources (including, and her JZ Fitness Nutrition app is available on iTunes and Android.