Catching up with Jojo Allen

allenallen allenSince being on the January 2011 cover of Healthy & Fit Magazine, Jojo Allen, 34, of Tustin, has been busy. Now the mother of twins, Allen, who is an insurance agent has embraced health and fitness as a new way of life, even becoming a Beachbody Coach. “It was an amazing experience to be on the cover,” she said. “I had worked so hard to get into the best shape of my life. It was an amazing accomplishment to be featured. I truly am a happier and healthier version of my prior self. I love that I am installing these healthy habits into my children.” She has put an emphasis on eating healthy foods. Her favorite workout is running, but she’s also done several other workouts like Insanity, and heavy weight lifting. “I never used to run, now I have many races, including two half marathons, under my belt.”


How to overcome excuses: Tips to gain the edge and meet your goals

Great people throughout history often fail, quite miserably, before finally reaching their goals, says international business strategist Dan Waldschmidt.

“Van Gogh sold only one painting during his lifetime; Winston Churchill lost every public election until becoming prime minister at age 62; Henry Ford went bankrupt five times; Albert Einstein was a terrible student and was expelled from school; Sigmund Freud was booed from a stage,” says Waldschmidt, author of “Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Achieve Outrageous Success,” (www.EdgyConversations.com).

“Ideas, brilliance, genius – they all mean nothing without the guts, passion and tenacity necessary to make your dream a reality. But often, people fall back on excuses and give up on trying to reach their goals.”

Most of us have dreams, and many of us have big ones, but few of us actually see them through, he says.

He offers six tricks for jumping off the excuse train and forge the path to your goals.

  1. Avoid the need to blame others for anything. Mean, small-minded people know that they suck. That’s why they are so cranky and eager to point out others’ mistakes. They hope that by causing others to feel inadequate, everyone will forget about how woefully off the mark their own performance is. Don’t blame anyone, for any reason, ever. It’s a bad habit.
  2. Stop working on things that just don’t matter. Not everything needs to be done in place of sleep. If you work for a boss, then you owe them solid time. You can’t cut that out. You can, however, cut out television time, meetings and anything else that gets in the way of achieving your goals. Replace entertainment with activity toward your goal.
  3. Refuse to let yourself wallow in self-doubt. You’re alive to succeed. Stop comparing your current problems to your last 18 failures. They are not the same. You are not the same. Here’s something to remember: Your entire life has been a training ground for you to capture your destiny right now. Why would you doubt that? Stop whining. Go conquer.
  4. Ask yourself, “What can I do better next time?” And then do it next time. If you spend a decade or two earnestly trying to be better, that’s exactly what will happen. The next best thing to doing something amazing is not doing something stupid. So learn from your mistakes and use the lessons to dominate.
  5. Proactively take time to do things that fuel your passion. Exercise is a great example. Living in the moment requires you to live at peak performance. A huge part of mental fitness is physical fitness. A sparring or running partner is a great way to refresh physical competition. Physical activity accelerates mental motivation.
  6. Apologize to yourself and those around you for having a bad attitude. Do this once or twice and you’ll snap out of your funk pretty fast. When you start genuinely apologizing for being a bad influence on those around you, you learn to stop whining and start winning.

written by Dan Waldschmidt. Dan Waldschmidt is the author of “Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Achieve Outrageous Success,” (www.EdgyConversations.com). He is an international business strategist, speaker, author and extreme athlete. His consulting firm solves complex marketing and business strategy problems for savvy companies all over the world. Dow Jones calls his Edgy Conversations blog one of the top sales sites on the internet. He’s been profiled in BBC, Fox News and The Today Show, and he is a sought-after media source.


Got a Headache? You’re Not Alone

Headaches are the number 3 reason women ages 18 to 44 go to emergency rooms, and the fifth-leading cause of emergency room visits among all Americans, according to a 2013 National Institutes of Health report, which calls headaches a major public health problem.

“The key to preventing headaches is, of course, to figure out what’s triggering them,” says Dr. Romie Mushtaq, www.BrainBodyBeauty.com, a neurologist, mind-body physician and an expert in Mindful Living. “While migraine and stress headaches can both be triggered by stress, migraines have many other possible triggers and they vary from one individual to the next.”

Dr. Romie has counseled thousands of headache sufferers and recently launched a six-week online seminar, Heal Your Headaches. She guides participants through ruling out various triggers, and shares traditional and holistic treatment options, among other information.

“It’s so important to educate people who suffer from headaches, especially migraines. There are many misconceptions about them,” she says. “I’ve had patients tell me they don’t have migraines because their headache isn’t accompanied by vomiting. Or they’ve been told they just have a low threshold for pain, even that they have no willpower!”

Dr. Romie advises patients to begin ruling out possible triggers.

“Start eliminating common food triggers from your diet, such as wine, chocolate and gluten, and if the headaches become less frequent or go away altogether, slowly add each item back,” she says. “It may quickly become apparent what’s triggering your headaches.”

If not, she shares other possible triggers people are not aware of:

Are you getting enough sleep?

Migraines can be triggered by sleep deprivation. A lack of sleep can actually lead to structural changes in the proteins of the brain  that make the trigeminal nerve more sensitive to pain. The trigeminal nerve supplies sensation to the face, head and meninges – the membranes surrounding the brain — and it is the nerve pathway that is the foundation of the where migraine headaches start.

When we are stressed, our sleep gets disturbed, and headaches are often one of the first signs. Creating a routine at night to reduce stress prior to bedtime is a key. If you can’t sleep because of headache pain, talk to your doctor about the temporary use of sleep-aid medications.

Also, avoid caffeine after 12 p.m.

Are you drinking enough water?

If you start feeling pressure or a dull headache at work, especially in the afternoon, it may be that you’re not drinking enough water during the day. Dehydration can cause fatigue, loss of focus and mid-day stress, which can trigger headaches, including migraines. Be sure to drink water throughout the day.

If you’re having trouble identifying your headache trigger, consider this natural therapy:

Feverfew for prevention:

Feverfew is one of many effective herbs studied for preventing migraine headaches  — it has been studied in adults, but not children or pregnant women. The typical dose is 85 to 100mg daily. If you’re experiencing more than two migraine headaches a month, you should try this natural supplement. I don’t recommend one brand over another; since brands are not regulated by the FDA, there is no scientific way to prove one is superior to another.

While these tips may help you gain control over your headaches, remember – anyone who has recurring headaches should see a physician, Dr. Romie says.


Dr. Romie is a mind-body medicine physician and neurologist. She did her medical education and training at the Medical University of South Carolina, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and University of Michigan, where she won numerous teaching and research awards. She brings to healing both her expertise of traditional Western training and Eastern modalities of mindfulness. She is currently a corporate health consultant and professional health and wellness life coach at the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine in Orlando, Florida.  She is also an international professional speaker, addressing corporate audiences, health and wellness conferences and non-profit organizations.  Her website is www.brainbodybeauty.com.


Meet the April 2014 Cover Model: Kimberly Fritzsche

IMG_1945Kimberly Fritzsche, 31, is a Taekwondo instructor and business owner in Owosso. She is the April 2014 cover on Healthy & Fit Magazine. Below is her complete interview with Tim Kissman, the magazine’s editor.

Tell me about Taekwondo and what it’s meant to you. 

My Taekwondo experience has overall been a very rewarding challenge with some amazing surprises along the way. As a teenager, I was not one to play sports due to lack of self esteem and coordination; I was actually the “bully target”. After I graduated from high school, my self esteem was at an extreme low.  Then my grandmother, whom raised me from birth, became critically ill. She then suffered a massive heart attack that unfortunately took her life.  To say I was devastated would be a drastic understatement.  I grieved her passing and after about a year, I decided it was time to do something about the huge void in my life and my suffering self esteem.  I knew I just couldn’t live my life hiding in fear, so I decided to enroll at my local Dojang, Shiawassee Marial Arts Center, at the age of 21 for some Taekwondo lessons in hopes to just get out of the house.

How did you progress through training?

My instructor there, Brian Godfrey, was very patient with me and brought me out of my shell. The next thing I knew 3 years had passed and I had attained the rank of 1st degree black belt and also won a national championship.  5 years into my training and I had attained my 2nd degree black belt and earned the opportunity to represent our country at a world-level championship held in Ankara, Turkey, a journey I had made all by myself. I never, ever, in my wildest dreams thought I would ever become a black belt, let alone be a competitor in national and international competitions!

Tell me about your training

I train for events by practicing my punching and kicking techniques with my instructor/coach Ron Southwick, and his wife, Sarah Lavan, at MSU Taekwondo club. It requires a lot of repetition and patience, but it’s all worth it in the end.  I also do a lot of core and strength training at my local gym as Taekwondo requires a strong core.  At home and at practice, I stretch my hamstrings by doing splits and other stretching exercises. A foam roller is my best friend on most days! In addition to physical training, there is also mental training.  It’s very important to clear your mind of all distractions, and most importantly, and negativity that may be plaguing you.

How has Taekwondo changed your attitude about life?

One thing I realized about myself when I started my training, is that I am a very competitive individual. I also want to be the very best I can be, both mentally and physically, and Taekwondo has helped me with both.

How is your diet? Is that important?

My diet is very clean (no alcohol or fast food). I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. I look at food as fuel, and not as a source of pleasure. Seafood, salads, and sushi are my favorite foods and I just love chocolate!

Advice for others?  

My advice to people who want to get involved with Taekwondo is to be prepared for a mental/physical challenge.  You will use every muscle in your body and every cell in your brain to learn the belt requirements. Taekwondo is a journey, and it’s a very rewarding one if you really put forth the effort.  It’s also a process of improving yourself each and every day and can carry over into your everyday life. There’s something in it for everybody; you may just find yourself capable of doing things and going places you never thought possible!  I say go for it!



Wrong Way 5K set for May 18

WrongWay logo cmyk

The third annual Wrong Way 5K Run/Walk organized by South Lansing Kiwanis Club will be held on Sunday, May 18, 2014 starting at 9 a.m. at Valhalla Park (Keller Road and Pine Tree) Holt, MI.

Everyone is invited to join us in this family-friendly event. Bring your family, bring your friends, bring your dog…bring a team! And, find out why this is the “Wrong Way” 5K.

Proceeds from the Run/Walk will support Kiwanis International’s EliMiNaTe Project to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) in the 26 countries around the world where it still tragically kills a baby every nine minutes.  Kiwanis International by working with UNICEF has eliminated MNT in 33 Countries since 2010 for only $1.80 per mother.  Kiwanis International is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.

Additional information is at www.SouthLansingKiwanis.org or contact Pat Korloch pk55@juno.com .  Online registration is at https://runsignup.com/Race/MI/Holt/WrongWay5k .


Rehabilitation services at AL!VE now include the World-Class Graston Technique®

EMPOWER, which provides Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital’s rehabilitation services at AL!VE, is now a Graston Technique® (GT) Preferred Provider. Patients are usually referred to GT for the treatment of soft tissue issues. The technique has been proven to help people heal better and recover faster.

During a GT treatment, clinicians use small stainless steel instruments to identify tissue dysfunction and to begin breaking up scar tissue. GT, combined with regular therapy and rehabilitation techniques, can transform soft tissue injuries quickly back to a healthy, functional state.

Benefits of GT include speedier recoveries, less need for anti-inflammatory medication and the ability to continue everyday activities. Results are positive 75 to 90 percent of the time during a traditional four-to-five-week treatment period.

Clinicians worldwide use GT to diagnose and treat various musculoskeletal conditions including: Achilles Tendonitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, shin splints, scar tissue, Caesarean scarring, fibromyalgia and more. The technique is frequently used by the entertainment industry, top universities, leading health care institutions and professional sports teams.

“The Graston Technique is a proven, effective treatment for acute and chronic injuries, as well as for pre- and post-surgical patients,” said Kim Dickinson, director of AL!VE Clinical Services. “EMPOWER works to stay up-to-date on the latest clinical trends and techniques to better serve the mid-Michigan community. Therapists at AL!VE are excited to start treating patients using the Graston Technique.”

Ask your referring physician about the Graston Technique® or call EMPOWER at AL!VE at 517-541-5800, option 2. Visit myalive.com to learn more about AL!VE and the other services it offers.


Tips to get Celebrity Fit and Fine for the Summer

Summer is almost here again! Do you wish you could have your favorite celebrity¹s body?  Well, here are 8 tips to help you get fit and fine like a celebrity this summer!

  1. Make sweat a habit!! Commit to doing a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio daily at least 5 times a week. Set a time to do it daily and stick to it to make sure it gets done. Grab a Zumba video, take a kickboxing class, go for a run or hop on the Stairmaster and sweat those pounds away. Sweating consistently by doing cardio daily is key to weight loss!
  2. Abs are made in the kitchen!­ If you want sexy abs , then you have to watch what you eat.  Adapt a clean eating regiment with lean protein (fish, chicken, ground turkey breast) , lots of vegetables, fruit, protein shakes and keep your carbs low.  Aim to eat 5-6 small meals a day to speed up your metabolism and break down fat quickly.  Be sure to keep cheating to a minimum. You won’t be able to fix a bad diet with exercise. Eat clean!
  3. Stay Hydrated ­ You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water daily. Avoid sugary and high-calorie drinks such as juice, sodas and alcoholic beverages.
  4. Squat, Squat, squat! Although many celebrities are enhancing their backside with injections, you can do it the natural way with SQUATS! At least 2-3 times of week, you should work your buns by doing 3-4 sets of squats, lunges, dead lifts and leg presses with 12-15 reps each set. Do this consistently and you will have the booty of your dreams.
  5. Lift like a BEAST Find a gym partner and hit the weights. You should engage in weightlifting 3-4 times a week to build muscle as you lean out from your daily cardio. Work a different part of the body each session. Be sure to stretch after each workout.
  6. Make Smart Substitutions Skip the ice cream and grab a yogurt or substitute a club soda for your usual Coke.  Small substitutions make big gradual changes. Be smart with your eating choices.
  7. Invest in a Heart Rate Monitor Push yourself daily in your workouts by monitoring how much you burn.  If you have a heart rate monitor, it allows you to see how hard you are working so that you can challenge yourself to get the best results. Aim to burn 300-500 calories per workout.
  8. Stay Inspired Remain motivated to achieve your goals by following fitness gurus on social media and find inspiration for workouts in fitness magazines and Youtube.com. Take advantage of the online resources available. There is a lot of free information on the web that you can use as training materials and to become more educated about appropriate exercises to target your problem areas.

Now let’s work!!! Keep your goals in mind as you work on your celebrity body. Remain focused and consistent. You will be looking like a super star in no time!


written by Akilah C. Thompson. Thompson is a Licensed Zumba Instructor, and Inspirational Speaker. She is the Founder & CEO of her trademark company ACT Inspires Inc and nonprofit, Generations Inspired Inc. Akilah is also a model, actor, and author. Her life goal is to inspire and empower others to be Ambitious, Courageous & Talented.   For more information, please visit Act Inspires.