Is Chocolate Good for You?

Is Chocolate Good for You?

Valentine’s Day is on its way! Learn more about how to make your best choices when considering your chocolate consumption. Denise Lum takes us from bean to bar, including tasting tips to get the most from your chocolate.

Ask Alina — Husband Shocked by Separation

Ask Alina — Husband Shocked by Separation

Husband-In-Shock writes to Ask Alina for advice after his wife asks for a trial separation, citing that she is not happy in the marriage. It could be a case of walkaway wife syndrome.

Healthy Snacks to Fill Your Super Bowl

Healthy Snacks to Fill Your Super Bowl

While you watch the NFL playoffs, you don’t have to eat junk food. What is your favorite season in the San Francisco Bay Area? Winter is just cold enough to warrant wearing your cozy scarf and gloves, but not so cold that you’ll ever wake to find yourself snowed in. Should you want to partake […]

Ask Alina – High Earners, Not Rich Yet

Ask Alina – High Earners, Not Rich Yet

Dear Ask Alina, My wife and I both work and have been comfortable with our combined family income. We bought a house during COVID time, and have not stressed much about expenses while settling into our new home. Well, as I was doing a financial year in review, I was in shock at how much […]

Tummy Troubles

Tummy Troubles

We all dread having a stomachache. No, I’m not talking about sore abs from working out too much.  I’m talking about the misery and nausea that keeps you from being able to relax because no matter what position you are in, your stomach is turning, and you feel like you are going to vomit. It’s […]

Ask Alina – Job Seeker

Ask Alina – Job Seeker

Dear Ask Alina, I am devastated and frightened. Earlier this year I was laid off from a company only a year after joining them, and have been job hunting for months with no offers in sight. I was so sure of myself when taking that job. It was great money, good title, lots of responsibilities. […]

Turning Eats Into Energy

Turning Eats Into Energy

You’ve had a long day and you are exhausted. Thinking about your day, it makes sense since you’ve been so busy, right? Or could it be that you’ve been so busy that you didn’t take the time to eat? After all, some people seem to be busy all the time and have boundless energy. Oftentimes, […]

Ask Alina – First Christmas After Divorce

Ask Alina – First Christmas After Divorce

Dear Ask Alina, I need help navigating this year’s holidays. I am recently divorced with a 10-year-old daughter. For many years I had a close community of friendships created through our daughter’s school and neighbors. Holidays have always been joyous with lots of parties, neighborhood gatherings, and our festive house. Although our daughter continues to […]

Managing Your Brain Age

Managing Your Brain Age

The stress from COVID has made your brain age faster. As a personal trainer, I’ve told clients not to worry about their chronological age. It is a number, a marker of the years since the day you were born. That’s not to say that it doesn’t matter at all. Of course, your chronological age should […]

Ask Alina – Fiancé Upset Over Late Dinner

Ask Alina – Fiancé Upset Over Late Dinner

Dear Ask Alina, My fiancé has been upset with me about the lack of time we spend together. However, I have shared with him from the very beginning about my goal to build my career into leadership. The last fight was over me coming home 30 minutes later than I said I would. He is […]

The Powerful Persimmon

The Powerful Persimmon

It was shiny, orange, and through my childhood eyes—orange was my favorite color until the age of eight—so pretty. My grandma turned over the heart-shaped fruit, scored the pointy end, peeled back the outside, and had me take a bite. Whoa! Honey sweet goodness was my introduction to persimmons. My second experience was contrary to […]

Ask Alina – Tired Mama Needs Help

Ask Alina – Tired Mama Needs Help

Dear Ask Alina, My husband and I have been married for almost five years and recently welcomed Baby #2. Although I am in a house full of humans and noise, I feel so alone. I have been experiencing panic attacks and I am constantly tired. For context, I am a stay-at-home mom and all responsibilities […]

San Francisco Walk to End Alzheimer’s

San Francisco Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Every day, people make the trip to the City by the Bay, my beloved San Francisco, to see the sights or enjoy a culinary delight. Today, Sunday, November, 6, I am at Pier 27, not to board a cruise ship to some far-off destination, but to prepare to walk for a cause for which a […]

The Sound of Quiet

The Sound of Quiet

Shhh… Listen. Do you hear that? You don’t hear anything? That is what I’m talking about. Actually, it is rarely totally silent, so really, I love what I call the sound of quiet. I love to be on the beach early, before many people arrive or even in the evening, when all you hear is […]

Let’s Kick some ALS!

Let’s Kick some ALS!

He entered the room, walking tall in a well-fitted suit and gregarious smile. Yet his gait seemed a little slower and somewhat pensive. My wedding would be the last time that I would see Uncle Charlie walking. It was the last time that I would even see him stand or wear a suit. You might […]

Viral Sensation or Abomination?

Viral Sensation or Abomination?

“Sleepy Chicken,” never heard of it? Neither had I until the other evening, when I saw several news reports of it being the latest TikTok trend. The FDA has issued a warning against this “viral sensation” of cooking chicken in NyQuil. This is not fiction. It is such a ridiculous thing to do that my […]

Do-it-Yourself Muscle Care

Do-it-Yourself Muscle Care

If you can’t see a pro, learn how to care for your own muscles. Flying cross-country can be daunting for many reasons. At our most recent personal training session, a client of mine asked for reminders of how to use her tennis ball on the plane. She was preparing for a trip to the east […]

Let’s Give ’em Pumpkin to Talk About

Let’s Give ’em Pumpkin to Talk About

Okay, that was pretty bad, but even Cinderella’s fairy godmother knew pumpkins were magical gourds. Winter, spring, summer and pumpkin are the four seasons of the year it now seems. In just a few weeks there will be no escaping them. The orange squash will be apparent everywhere from doorsteps and porches to markets and patches. Whether […]

The Best Time to Exercise Is…

The Best Time to Exercise Is…

Consistency leads to confidence, which leads to success. One day, an article came across my social media feed; something about the best time of day to exercise. I didn’t have time to read the article, but thought to myself, “The best time of day is the time that you will do it!” Similar, to my […]

Demystifying Sunscreen

Demystifying Sunscreen

“Slather yourself with baby oil and lay out in the sun? I didn’t realize that used to be a common thing.” I once remarked as I was preparing to teach an Aqua Aerobics class. “Oh yes, we used to do that all the time. We would go over to one of the gals’ homes and […]

Nothing Screams Summer Like Refreshing Watermelon

Nothing Screams Summer Like Refreshing Watermelon

In the song, Watermelon Sugar, Harry Styles extolled its virtues as a metaphor for something he had an immense desire for. In the land where they find ways to make all things cute, Japan, they grow some square watermelons that can command up to $200. You can even find mini varieties; personal sized, which are […]

Water is Life

Water is Life

But I’d rather drink _______. How did you fill in the blank? Does drinking water come easily to you or are you like so many that admittedly would rather drink anything but water? It is vital to stay hydrated. As the weather heats up, you should drink more water than normal. You’ve probably heard, but […]

The Most Effective Exercise

The Most Effective Exercise

Have the right motivation – know “why” you’re exercising. The most effective exercise is the one that you will do… and do so consistently… and are able to do safely. There is no single exercise that is perfect for everyone, so what is effective will differ for each. So, let’s take one point at a time. […]

Living the Sweet Life

Living the Sweet Life

Oh, how we love our sugar. Did you know that the average American consumes about 17 teaspoons of added sugar each day? Seventeen! That’s equivalent to 119 in a week, or put that on a scale and weigh it out and you are eating more than a pound of sugar every week! Too much sugar […]