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Ask the Trainer: Better Health Through Smoothies

By Billy Locke
Published: Friday, April 10, 2009, at 04:19PM
IMGP0943.JPG Ed Fuentes

Produce vendors at the Pershing Square Farmers Market.

Hey, has everyone been working on their beach bodies? I had a heck of a workout week myself. I was on my exercise tour of duty, visiting as many different workout places Downtown as I could. I feel compelled to confess that I missed my Pilates and yoga session but lifted weights instead. When my schedule changes at the last minute, I grab quick workouts at my gym instead.

I’ll make up my missed sessions this coming week though. The key in an ever-changing world is to make sure that you still get your workout time in even if you have to do it at a different time and place. Otherwise, you will find one excuse after another to blow off taking care of yourself.

Trainer Tip

I thought it would be nice to mix it up this week. So I decided to pick the topic. We are going to delve deep into your minds this week and flush out some of the low-tech activities for enhancing mental performance.

The high-tech approach would be the more than 30 different drugs currently under development worldwide. These drugs, referred to as neuropharmaceuticals, seek to:

  • Increase concentration and attention span;
  • Heighten wakefulness and alertness;
  • Brighten mood;
  • Improve verbal, visual memory and decision making;
  • Boost energy levels;
  • Sharpen memory and increase ability to plan complex problems, recall numbers or abstract patterns.

Wow, all that in one drug is enough to fry a dozen eggs. I'd rather brave a brain-freeze from drinking my favorite “neuropathway enhancing” blueberry smoothie -- plus it tastes better.

Recipe for Daily Mental Fitness

Actually, the safest, no side effects way of increasing cognition is to sign up for my daily mental fitness program. It is rigorous and demanding. You may find yourself beside yourself trying to keep up. Here it is broken down into four component parts – try to incorporate as many as you can in the rest of your day:

Food Based Mental Enhancement

  • Blueberries
  • Cocoa
  • Tea
  • Grapes
  • Omega-3 fatty acid containing foods like avocados and nuts

Physical Exercise

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Rollerblading
  • Skateboarding
  • Anything ending in “ing” that forces you to sustain an elevated heart for 30 minutes or more, 3 or more days a week

Mental Foreplay

  • Crossword puzzles
  • Chess
  • Solve math problems without a calculator, like balancing a checkbook
  • Acrostics
  • Learn a new language
  • Mind-exercising video games

Informative Reading

  • Books e.g. China Study, Conscious Eating
  • Any of the gazillion health and fitness magazines

Shop for Your Brain

My daily recipe for building new neural pathways in your brain and cleaning out the cobwebs is simple. Just visit one of our weekly Downtown farmers markets:

  • Wednesdays at Pershing Square, 11:30am to 3pm.
  • Thursdays, Arts District / Little Tokyo Market, City Hall South Lawn, 1st between Main and Spring, 10am to 2pm.
  • Thursdays, 7+Fig Farmers Market, 11:30am to 3pm.
  • Thursdays, Chinatown Market, 727 N. Hill, 2 to 6pm.
  • Fridays, Bank of America Market, 333 S. Hope, 11am to 2pm.

Grab as many of the different colors of produce that you love to eat, including blueberries and blackberries and start your day off with my favorite smoothie.

Billy’s Favorite Smoothie

Frozen Organic Blueberries (1/2 cup)
Frozen Organic Blackberries (1/2 cup)
Organic Frozen Banana  (1)
Organic Apple Juice (2 cups)
Organic Hemp Protein Powder (2 scoop/serving) 

Plan Your Day

The start of your day will look like this. Drink your “neuropathway enhancing” or “neurodegenerative disease fighting” smoothie and do crossword puzzles for 30 minutes while you digest. Go for a 45 minute run, come home, shower and you are ready for your day. No cup of coffee needed. Close out your evening with a little light reading on health, fitness or wellness and you are good to go.

Well that is it, check back next Friday and I will answer an email from

Til next time—Exercise More, Play Hard, Work Smart.

Billy Locke

Extreme Natural Fitness Trainer


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