Indianapolis chefs, personal trainers offer New Year's advice

Indianapolis chefs, personal trainers offer New Year's advice

Forget New Year's resolutions. Replace them with daily resolutions, says Indy life coach Ingrid E. Cummings, a fervent believer in "Kaizen," an ancient Japanese practice that stresses incremental continuous improvement. "Don't get overwhelmed by the hugeness of it all," Cummings advises. "If you eat 10 calories less than yesterday, then you're heading in the right direction."

In her new book, "The Vigorous Mind," Cummings instructs people on how they can achieve life goals by acting on them for 20 minutes a day, three days a week. But these goals need to be your own, not ones designed to only please your spouse, doctor or mother, adds Julie Young, another life coach with Indianapolis clients. "It's important that whatever the resolution is that it's something that you're passionate about," Young says. "It shouldn't be just something that is expected of you, or the practical or responsible thing to do."

Whether your goal is to eat healthier, get in better shape, develop a fresh look — or a combination of all three — the personal chefs, trainers and stylists interviewed for this issue offer their advice on achieving a new and incrementally happier you in 2009.

Hail to the chef

To save time and lose weight, think about handing over your spatula and apron to a personal chef.

"Our work schedules require so much of our time that we have very little time to spend enjoying the benefits we work so hard for," says Chef Jennifer Cheezum of Kitchen Express Personal Chef in Carmel. "We find ourselves going to local quick-service fast food eateries or grabbing frozen, processed and unhealthy food."

Personal chefs can cook and serve a big meal for guests or prepare family meals in advance for you to serve yourself.

To help stay on track with nutritional goals, consider a customized package. Prices start at $200 - plus the cost of groceries - for two weeks of meals that can be frozen until ready to eat.

During the consultation with a chef, communicate your diet restrictions, nutritional goals, likes and dislikes. "I can take anything on my menu and modify it to make it healthier," says Chef Eric Christen of Chef Eric's Custom Cuisine in Carmel. "I have clients who use Weight Watchers, so I follow those guidelines for them."

Or, you can ask the chef to work out all the healthy details. "I can make a menu and dietary plan for my clients," says Chef Trish McIlroy, owner of Salsify in Indianapolis. "That doesn't even require me to cook for them, but gives them a scope of what they should be eating for all of their meals and snacks. However, when I'm doing all of the cooking and leaving the meals to reheat, it's a lot easier for clients to stick to a diet."

Chefs can also help drastically change eating habits. "I recommend a couple of ways to transition into keeping that goal," Cheezum says. "First, buy a food journal to help you chart your weight, nutritional and exercise goals. Then, look at the food in your home pantry, refrigerator and freezer. If most of the food items contain high calorie, high fat and processed ingredients — this would be a great time to throw these foods out."

Get the skinny from personal trainers

Follow these three Bs to become more physically fit: Be realistic. Be patient. Be determined.

That's the advice of Cindy Sams, owner of Full Body Fitness in Fishers. "I always stress that it shouldn't be a burden to work out, lose weight and get healthy," Sams says. "Your body is a gift and you are the only one who can take care of it."

Indianapolis member Heather El Messoussi credits her trainer, Bridgette Cooper of Fitness Jungle in Greenwood, with helping her stick to her fitness goals. "It's so easy to get down on yourself or lose motivation," says El Messoussi. "Having a personal trainer kept me encouraged, pushed me and helped me to believe in myself."

While El Messoussi admits it was hard to fit working out into her schedule, she also recognizes that discipline and the desire to improve herself are great motivators. "The biggest challenge for me to overcome was myself," she says. "I can be easily discouraged, so there were times when I didn't want to complete a workout, but having Bridgette there was like having my own personal cheerleader."

Some trainers even make house calls, so clients have fewer excuses to miss a workout.

Trainers suggest purchasing a session package versus just one workout at a time because it's cheaper and helps clients establish a long-term commitment to fitness.

They typically charge $40 or more per session, depending on their travel time and the workout duration. Many packages start at $375 for five workouts. Depending on the time of year, trainers may offer discounts or additional perks.

They also provide accountability to their clients to motivate them. "I've used various methods, including checking in on them via email and over the phone," says Amy Fearrin-Jones, owner of Amy's Fabulously Fit in Zionsville. "I also suggest they put a photo of themselves somewhere they frequently visit, or set out an outfit they'd like to get into to stay motivated."

She says the key is keeping those workout appointments: "Ultimately my clients improve on something each and every workout, so either the fact they've accomplished something — or the self-disappointment they'll feel if they don't — may be motivation enough."

Refresh and renew with a new 'do

If you're feeling sluggish, avoid wearing the ratty sweats. That can lead to a guilty date with Häagen-Dazs and a larger size of a dumpy sweatsuit. If you force yourself to dress nicely and head to the salon for a new style, you're more likely to achieve other healthy life goals, experts say.

"Tending to our hygiene and appearance not only gives us a confidence boost, but it also sends a message to other people that we take pride in how we present ourselves," says Nicole Homoya, co-founder and salon manager of Alchemy Salon Inc. in Fountain Square.

While women have plenty of salons to provide a beauty boost, men's specialty salon services have only started to pop up in recent years. "We believe in a whole-body maintenance approach to men's grooming," says Bernie Combs, owner of 4:59 Barber Lounge near Keystone at the Crossing Square. "Many shops believe in just a quick haircut, but we offer hair cutting and coloring, hand and foot grooming, shaving, skin care, hair removal and clinical or therapeutic massage."

So what's the latest hair cut or style that men will embrace in 2009? Combs says don't look for anything drastic.

"Women are fast adopters to new trends," he explains. "Men — not so much. Their trend cycles tend to last for years." He predicts, instead, that guys will be more open to hand and foot maintenance or getting a facial.

Women, on the other hand, should think big, literally. "I think there will be a return to big, glamorous, softly styled hair with lots of wave," says Kevin Edwards, co-owner of Snips in Historic Irvington. "I'd also look for the return of the pixie and pixie-inspired cuts."

Homoya says there's only one trend she's happy to see take root: Her clients want their shampoos and gels to be environmentally friendly and the packaging to be minimal and recyclable. They're more interested than ever before in taking care of the Earth while caring for their hair.

Otherwise, the artsy 20-something pooh-poohs anyone paying too much attention to fads. "The trend that I would most like to see be big in 2009 is people staying away from trends," she says. "I very much support individuality and finding a style that really suits the person."

Turn up the heat

Hot yoga, also called Bikram yoga, will be spicing up Indy workouts in 2009. "The temperature in the room is around 100 degrees," Fearrin-Jones says. "This helps warm up the body and allows you to be much more flexible. It's a super workout."

The vigorous sessions promote profuse sweating, helping the body rid itself of toxins. It's essential to drink plenty of water before and after attending a hot yoga class so you don't become dehydrated. Pregnant women shouldn't take these classes, she adds.

Fearrin-Jones offers hot yoga classes and so do other local yoga studios including Cityoga and All People Yoga Center in Indianapolis, and Simply Yoga in Zionsville.

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Minneapolis area chefs, fitness pros and stylists offer advice

Minneapolis-area personal trainers say small steps are the key to reaching fitness goals. Chefs say good nutrition starts with menu planning. A good night's sleep is essential to health. Bikram yoga and big hair will be hot trends of 2009.

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