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Doctor Lee's Blog

Musings from The Doctor of Fitness: Fitness Trainer, Nutrition Expert, & Sports Medicine Physician

The purpose of this blog is to write informally for anyone who is interested in fitness, strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, sports medicine, and breaking fitness and nutrition news. If you'd like to reach me directly, you can contact me here. Feel free to take a look at my professional bio and my not-so-professional bio.

Happy New Year!

on Tuesday, 01 January 2019. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

“You are never too old to set a new goal. To dream a new dream.”

—     C.S. Lewis

If you didn’t know it was a new year by looking at the calendar would you really notice any difference from the day before?

The weather would probably be about the same (cold in most places). For the most part, the same topics as yesterday would still be trending on your social media. And, of course, your cat would still expect to be fed like always.

A New Year is much more than a date on the calendar though. It’s a time for renewal, a chance to reinvent yourself. It’s an opportunity to start fresh and a way to put the past behind you. These may all sound like clichés, and perhaps they are in a sense, but it doesn’t make them less true. That’s what makes a new year so special.

But why wait until January 1st to reinvent yourself? You have the ability to make every day a new start. There’s an old saying that past performance is the best indicator of future success. Says who? Don’t let past failures cloud your future. Your future is your own, not some prophecy set in stone.

Now, of course, you’ll need a plan. You’ll need to visualize that future and take steps to make it happen. You’ll need to put in the work. All of these things are possible even though they might not seem that way at the time.

So go make those resolutions! Make every day a new start. Go out and reinvent yourself and see where it leads you.

The Joy of Christmas

on Tuesday, 25 December 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas ...perhaps ... means a little bit more!"

Dr. Seuss (from How the Grinch Stole Christmas)

The holidays are bright and beautiful. There’s nothing quite like going out on a chilly night to see the lights glistening against a backdrop of new fallen snow. You have tinsel sparkling and carolers singing. You might catch the aforementioned Dr. Seuss Christmas special on TV or maybe go old school with the classic It’s a Wonderful Life. There’s the anticipation of the big day, and of course, there’s the wonderful smorgasbord of holiday goodies to munch on, made even more special by the fact that you only get to enjoy them for a short time.

A big thing is the loot. You’re bound to get something you need and (just as importantly) maybe something you’ve been wanting all year. It might even be something you didn’t even know you needed until that magical moment you tear open the package. It’s often better to give than receive though, and the priceless look of joy on a friend or relative’s face when they see what you’ve gotten them makes all the behind the scenes work worth it.

Of course, Christmas isn’t just about the things that come from a store. It’s about family and friends and being with the ones you love. They’re the ones that truly make Christmas a special time. So take a moment to appreciate the joy of Christmas. After all, it only comes around once a year.

Have a Great and Happy Holiday!

5 Healthy Holiday Food Choices

on Tuesday, 18 December 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Your stomach may still be recovering from all that Thanksgiving feasting, but the holiday march continues. Christmas and New Years’ Day are coming, which means more family gatherings, more office parties and more tantalizing things to tempt your tummy.

There’s no harm in indulging yourself a little, but just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean everything you eat has to be bad for you. There are alternatives that are both delicious and easy on the calories.

If there’s no way you’ll make it through the holiday without some quality green-bean casserole, try this slimmed-down version on for size.

Got a holiday party to go to? Get all the great taste of buffalo chicken wings without the associated calories with these spicy sriracha-buffalo cauliflower bites.

You probably won’t survive the holiday rush on carrots and lettuce alone, and with this healthier version of classic meatballs, you won’t have to.

Festive? Yep. Holiday color? Check. If you want a dessert that has all the Christmas pizzazz without all the Christmas calories, these star-mint meringues might be just the thing.

Let’s face it: you could really go for a great crab cake. You just don’t want to feel guilty about it. Problem solved with these light mini-crab cakes.

Use these tasty recipes along with a little moderation and common sense for the holidays. Remember a great Holiday spread doesn’t have to end up on your waistline.

Get a Jumpstart on Your Tax Prep

on Tuesday, 11 December 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

It’s holiday time, not tax time. After all, you want to be trimming the tree not thinking about Form 1040. However, now might be the perfect time to get a head start on those schedules, and more importantly, do some end-of-the-year tax planning.

The key part of taxes is that they encompass everything within the calendar year, meaning that if you want to include something when you do your taxes next year, you’ll need to have it done by December 31st of this year.

Stock up. If you’re self-employed, stocking up on supplies before the end of the year is not only a great way to hit the ground running in January, but it means you can also expense them, potentially lowering your taxable income.

Contribute. An IRA is more than just a good way to save for retirement. It’s also a way for you to potentially lower your tax bill. Depending on your age, you may be able to make a contribution of up to $6,500 dollars to an IRA, directly subtracting from your taxable income and possibly pushing you into a lower tax bracket.

Pay off those doctor bills. If you’re planning on itemizing your medical expenses, make sure you actually make the payments before the end of the year or they won’t count on this year’s taxes.

Sure, this time of year you’d rather have sugar plums dancing in your head than tax schedules, but a little planning now can save you big bucks when April 15th rolls around.

Outdoor Winter Fun

on Tuesday, 04 December 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

The warm days of summer are long gone. Now there are only bare trees and the cold winter breeze. That means it’s time to come inside and watch the world through your windows, right? Well, not so fast. When we were kids, the cold weather didn’t stop us. We couldn’t wait to get outside and play in the snow. Find your inner child again this winter. Here are some ways to enjoy some cold weather fun:

Capture the Snow Flag. This is cheap winter entertainment at its best. All you need is a piece of white cloth tied to a wooden spoon. Mark off your area of play, and then have one person plant the ‘snow flag’. Time how long it takes the other person to find it. Switch places and start again. The person who finds the flag in the shortest time wins.

A real holiday movie night. It’s pretty easy to find an affordable movie projector for outdoor movie nights. But why let the fun stop when the summer ends? Get some blankets, some warm drinks and other supplies and enjoy a holiday movie in true holiday style.

Tic-Tac-Snow. Sure you could play the game inside, but why would you? Use a stick to draw some lines in the snow, grab some pines cones, stones, etc., for playing pieces and you’re all set.

Go for the stars. One nice thing about winter is that the humidity is low and the night sky is crisp and clean, perfect for some quality stargazing. Astronomy and hot chocolate. What could be better?

Winter is waiting. Make the most of it with these fun holiday activities.

Gearing Down For the Holidays

on Tuesday, 27 November 2018. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

If you glanced at the title, you might be wondering why we didn’t say ‘gearing up’ instead. Well, the economy might be roaring, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your wallet is. With holiday season coming up, you have a lot to do and also a lot to buy. There’s food and parties to go to. There are decorations to update, and cards to send out, and that doesn’t even count everyone on your shopping list.

So as this holiday season kicks into high gear, it may be time for you to gear down. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Plan out your holiday budget ahead of time and make sure you stick to it. It’s sort of like making a list and checking it twice.
  • Take advantage of early bird and off-season sales. No, you probably don’t need a Christmas tree in July, but you’re likely to find a great deal on it.
  • Try making instead of buying. Sure, creating a new tablet or a high-definition TV may be beyond your skill, but there’s no reason you can’t make festive decorations or holiday treats from cheap raw ingredients.
  • Use a prepaid debit card when you go shopping. It has a set limit and when it runs out, so do you. The set limit means you can’t go over budget even if you want to, and it also cuts down on those impulse buys that can break your bank account.

The holidays can take a pretty good bite out of your finances. So if you don’t want to have a sad face when the January bills come due, try a little gearing down for the holidays.

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