Live Now Nutrition! A Local Resource

As most of you know, my scope of practice as a personal trainer limits my nutritional and eating guidance. Though I’m able to provide exercise guidance and instruction, you may ultimately need more to reach your health and wellness goals. With that in mind, I’d like to share a resource for nutrition and eating therapy: Heather Henniger and Live Now Nutrition.

Heather and I have been friends for many years since first meeting at the YMCA.  As an eating and nutrition coach and practitioner, her approach is different from that of a dietician or nutritionist because it focuses on one’s relationship with food and the emotions involved. I asked Heather a few questions about her services to which she elaborated:

If one tends to eat out and/or buy prepared foods frequently, which service would benefit them the most and why?

One-on-one sessions would be most beneficial for those who are wanting to get healthier, lose weight, struggling with digestive issues, or binge eating/overeating and are eating out frequently or consuming mostly prepackaged food.  One-on-one sessions would allow us to explore your life and discover areas where we can begin to tweak your diet as well as your lifestyle. Just a few small changes can make a positive shift in one’s health and wellness and can help to transform one’s metabolism.

I see you offer kitchen cooking sessions, pantry makeovers and grocery shopping tours. What can one expect to learn from each of these?

Cooking Session: I love to cook nutritious food, but only if it tastes good, otherwise, what’s the point?  In my cooking sessions, you can expect to learn healthy cooking techniques that can help you transform your unhealthy or boring meals into nutritious and delicious delights. Depending on your needs, we can work on knife skills, explore kitchen equipment, and ways to prepare healthy meals and snacks easier and tastier than you may think possible.

Pantry Makeover: Good health starts in the kitchen. A Pantry Makeover is a great way to set yourself up for success. We will be cleansing your kitchen from ingredients that keep you stuck in addictive patterns and don’t serve to properly fuel your body. You will also receive a list of foods and spices that you need to have in your kitchen to support your health. Please note that if you have family members who are not on board with your desire to make healthy lifestyle changes that I will not throw out the foods they want to keep. Instead, we will find a way for them to not feel deprived of what they want while leaving you with a kitchen that supports the changes you’re ready to make in your health and life.

Grocery Shopping Tour: There is a common misperception that shopping at health food stores will significantly increase your grocery bill. In fact, depending on what you purchase, you might even save money. Regardless on where you choose to do your food shopping, there is a way to shop at the grocery store that will be easier on your wallet, and help you get healthier. I can help you discover foods you haven’t tried, how to purchase the freshest produce, as well as how to store and ideas to prepare them.

How is your style or approach different from that of a nutritionist or dietician?

Most dieticians and nutritionists focus solely on the foods you consume, calorie content, and macronutrient balance. While these are important components of health, they are only part of a healthy life. As a Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner, I look at foods and their nourishing properties. However, I also use my training as a Mind Body Eating Coach to work with the whole person: body, mind, spirit, emotion. Together we will examine your past as well as your current lifestyle to gain a better understanding of where you are in your health journey and why. From there we will work together to help you build the skills and confidence to overcome eating challenges, health challenges, and life challenges so that you can become your best self.

Do you create meal plans? Why or why not?

I don’t create meal plans for my clients. I have found that many people follow a meal plan for a time and then stop following it completely when life makes it difficult to follow that meal plan perfectly. I work with my clients to see that an “all or nothing approach” is not the way to lasting health. My clients learn to trust the wisdom of their bodies in deciding what to eat and make their food choices from a place of love and respect to their bodies.

What would your clients say has been their greatest discovery through working with you?

Most people put a lot of stress and energy into negative thoughts and worrying about food. I think the greatest discovery people have had, after working with me, has been the peace and confidence in their lives.


Need or want guidance in this area? I encourage you to reach out to Heather!


Live Now Nutrition – Heather Henniger
Certified Mind Body Eating Coach and Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner

Phone: 719-308-1160
Location: 422 E. Vermijo, Ste. 216 Colorado Springs CO 80903






















Sink or Swim?

In this guest post, my client graciously shares his inner struggles and physical challenges while preparing for his first half ironman. I thank him for sharing his story and my friend, Pam, for the guidance in the pool.


David crosses finish line

Crossing the finish line at St. Andrews New Brunswick Half Ironman

Glug! – Plunging in at the deep end

Have you ever hastily committed to something, caught up in the excitement of a great vision or goal, and then realized you have neither the skills nor the time to do it?

My brother, an experienced triathlete, asked if I’d like to join him and friends for a Half ironman in July. Over the last 5 years I had been gradually getting fitter, losing 100 lbs and taking on cycling and running challenges. I loved the idea! I could see myself drinking a beer, celebrating a great event.  My wife and kids loved the idea too and within a moment I parted with a big entrance fee and made travel plans.

Oh S**t what have I done!

“I can’t swim, I’m over 50, I go into panic when my head goes under water, I swallow water like it’s Guinness, I can’t swim half the length of a pool, and the thought of open murky water terrifies me.”

The sobering thoughts hit me like a bolt of lightning and I went into a grieving process.

  • Denial – Surely I can’t have been stupid enough to sign up. Tell me this is a bad dream. I didn’t really sign up for a triathlon with open water swim–that’s not me.
  • Anger – How could I be this stupid? What possessed me? I have set myself up for failure!
  • Bargaining – Can I switch to a relay? Can someone else do the swim leg? Can I use water wings?
  • Depression – I am going to let everyone down and never challenge myself again.
  • Acceptance – Do the best. It’s going to be an experience and I’ll learn something in the process.

5 P’s of success

I use to be a heavy, unfit guy a few years ago. Slowly but surely I became fitter by challenging myself to do more. I conquered the Manitou incline, my first 5k and my first hike up Pikes Peak to name just a few. July’s half ironman was my biggest challenge yet but I persevered by focusing on these 5 P’s of success:

  • Perspective – Who is going to die if you don’t do the swim? – Are there rescue boats that can help you if you get in trouble?
  • Plan – How are you going to learn to swim? Join the “Y” and my friend can teach you the basics
  • Persistence – Just do it, get yourself in the pool 2-3 times a week. Turning up is half the battle
  • Practice – Even if you can only swim half a length, swim it multiple times, just practice!
  • Patience – Be grateful for small steps.  Don’t be critical and compare against expectations or others. You are unique

Of course, I continued to build strength, endurance and flexibility out of the pool; swimming skills needs arm, shoulder and leg strength. Without a regular sanity check against these principles, set backs are out of context.

Getting it done.

I read books, watched videos and spoke with people in the hope of getting that miraculous secret to overcoming my water fears. Every week I hoped that it would all come together like switching on a light. It didn’t happen, my progress was slow, and was more like a very slow unveiling until my first lake swim just a month before my big event.

To say I didn’t feel confident for the swim would be an understatement. Come the day of the race I was still unsure if I could complete the 1.2 mile swim. Family and friends were rooting for me.  I was very slow, the rescue team were eyeing some action! I kept to the plan to finish within the cut off time, not to race the others. I remained persistent and patient and remembered to enjoy the moment as I passed each buoy.  I was one of the last out of the water but I had such a sense of relief that I smiled all the way through the bike and run and finished the triathlon in the rain nearly an hour before the cut off.

Glutton for punishment and gambling addiction

What a huge emotional high! To complete something extreme that I could never have dreamed a few years ago. My brother asked if I’d do the Boulder half Iron next year, I signed up and am happy to say I haven’t gone through the dread of last year (yet). I hope to be more confident and prepared. People ask if I would like to do a full ironman, I would like to try one in a couple of years if someone will do it with me!

Lessons learned

  • Fear is an incredible force – Accepting that trying as hard as you can is reward enough can be hard to come to terms with. While this gamble turned out well this time, the more I push for bigger goals, the more inevitable setbacks will be. Reminding myself that when those occur, it’s okay, the experience of trying and learning is part of the adventure.
  • The power of the mind can be greater than the body – Patiently balancing training of both is crucial.
  • Getting the help of a professional trainer – One willing to take the time to look at the complete picture and help figure a way forward for both mind and muscle is imperative
  • It’s very hard to do anything big on your own, being with friends and family on the journey. Celebrating, commiserating and putting things in perspective makes such a difference.
  • Having a goal can be fun – Like looking forward to a vacation, having an event on the calendar can be great for keeping the spirits high and adding some spice to life.

How she got rid of her hunchback | New York Post

Wow! This is unbelievable! I had to share this article!

When Anna Pesce was visiting her children in Wagener, SC, in November 2014, the then-85-year-old Orangeburg, NY, native almost collapsed trying to climb a set of stairs.

Read the complete article here.

Too fat to get fit? – A client’s perspective

“I can’t breathe, I topple when I try to balance, and I am not strong enough. If only I was lighter, thinner and stronger I could get fit like the other people at the gym. I am just too fat to get fit

My fitness classmate was expressing what I had felt just a few years ago. These destructive thoughts would justify the delay of starting a fitness journey. “Why start, it’s beyond me”.

We have all had similar thoughts at times. Even the fittest and healthiest of us have binged over the holidays and thought “I have already broken my diet, and had a few days of inactivity, I’ll start the healthy eating and exercise next week”.

An occasional splurge should never be a problem, we all need one, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of being able live the active life and have fun adventures without feeling drained.

Nothing prevents us from taking action than ourselves. Who wouldn’t want to be enjoying fun activities and adventures? Feeling healthier is a choice, nature doesn’t have to take its course.

It’s never too soon to begin the process.  The two things that hold most of us back most are the fear of change, and a tendency to focus on the pain instead of the gain.

In the past I felt caught in the “too fat to get fit” mentality, I justified a delay of action, and became inactive. Eventually I realized that change doesn’t just happen. It’s something you have to focus on.

How can we filter through the noise of commercial solutions?  We have all seen the miracle shakes, the latest fitness exercise equipment, apps, gadgetry and intimidating gyms full of people that look nothing like you. The fitness industry can be confusing, there are no shortage of gimmicks and exaggerated promises.

I was very overweight and unhealthy before I was lucky enough to find a great health professional that was able to clear through the fog of fitness technology, focus on the benefits of outdoor adventures and motivate a change that built from my starting point rather than the average, fitter, gym member.

Nicole was able to build a custom path to fun activities through fitness for me. She took a creative approach, focused on individual interests rather than the typical score sheet of reps from the gym. In the early days of the transformation Nicole would focus on finding the activity that would spark the interest to take the action to make change. For me, the activity that I found most pleasure in was hiking. The training activities focused around balance, strength and stamina that would support better hiking which would build confidence and drive continued fitness through increasingly challenging adventures.

With Nicole’s help I was able to gradually lose 100lb, and eventually conquer the Manitou Incline, then Pikes Peak, then a 100k bike rides and the Ascent. Next year I am signed up for my first ½ ironman.

I now know that you are never too fat to get fit, and it’s never too soon to start the transformation, at 53 I can attest to it never being too late. My advice is to find a health professional that has done it before, that makes fun adventures the goal and fitness the side benefit, and that can spark the motivation to conquer the fitness challenges.

-David Sweetman; Colorado Springs


© David Sweetman

David (before)


© David Sweetman

David (after)