Food Freedom

fruitsalad1Taking care of the body that we were born with is our responsibility. In the post Physical Freedom, the main idea was that attitude can make the difference as to the approach we take toward staying physically fit. The same approach is necessary when dealing with nutrition.

Diet is about the way we nourish our bodies. Everyone has a diet – it is a way of life – not a temporary fad. It may be good or bad. It can be maintained and improved with a similar approach used toward physical freedom.

Thinking about what you eat, and why, is important for good health. Food freedom is successful when approached with the same attitude for physical freedom. Yes, you have the right to eat anything you desire. Your body also rightfully can respond to such choices. Bad food choices result in unnatural body types. We were not designed to be overweight, with excess fat rolls, oily skin, and stressed joints. Curves are great when they result from good food and fitness choices.

Give your body the freedom to take on a natural form. Exercise and eat well. Realize that fast food chains are in the business to make money – not to make you healthy. They use ingredients that are cost effective, not usually health effective. The “food” some restaurants produce are difficult for bodies to digest and result in many negative health barriers. It is worth it to take on food freedom and pass up fast food. Take control of the way you fuel your body and you will be amazed at how much it will thank you. It will work better and look great. That is real food freedom.-pm


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Fast Food

cerealCooking is not my favorite pastime. Every now and then I like to experiment and some of my favorite concoctions have come from playing around with food.  When I’m hungry I don’t want to spend time trying to create some masterpiece dinner. I want to throw it together and enjoy.

Breakfast can be pretty quick with so many cereal options. It doesn’t have to be boring either. One of the best ways to spruce it up in a healthy way is to strip it down and start over. Like oatmeal. Go with the plain, rolled oats and build in flavor and nutrition with fruit. A lot of the prepackaged, grab and go foods are loaded with preservatives and fluff ingredients that your body can’t benefit from.

When you are adding ingredients to a dish, stop and consider why you are adding it in. Are you doing it for flavor, texture, a particular nutrient? If you can’t justify how it benefits your body then don’t use it. Try to find a better substitute.

Over the years I have found a good deal of sugar substitutes, meat alternatives, and many other ways to change up recipes.   I’m no chef by any means but I’ll list a few ideas that maybe you can try. Perhaps it will spark a delicious culinary creation that you can share. Eat up. –pm

Cinnamon – raisin roll

Flour or whole wheat tortilia

Spread apple butter, dash cinnamon, add raisins

Roll up and eat warm or chilled


Oatmeal #1

Old fashion rolled oats

Use water-more for runny, less for thicker

Heat in microwave

Add chopped dates


Oatmeal #2

Old fashion rolled oats

Use water-more for runny, less for thicker

Heat in microwave

Flavor with Splenda Coffee flavor packet, or sugar-free syrups

Add raisins or dates – both


Flakey Oatmeal

Corn flake cereal

Sprinkle Old fashion rolled oats

Splash in cold water-enough to make the oats pasty and stick to the flakes like a granola

Add plain splenda

Add raisins




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Milk is for Babies

You might be surprised to learn that the vegan diet is not unheard of to many top performing athletes. Here’s a quick list from wikipedia:

Many people are afraid of what they might be giving up if they commit to a vegetarian or vegan diet.  Surprisingly, many find that they discover a way of living and eating that they were missing out on. Recovery fuel is very important after a workout. Several athletes turn to sports drinks to replace electrolytes and restore glycogen that gets depleted during activity. For a while milk was campaigning that it was the perfect way to recharge after a workout. It’s not.  Nor is it a prime selection for the average human being.  Just for a moment, forget everything that you’ve been brought up believing about milk.  Now think about your strong, energetic dog who can play fetch endlessly without growing as tired as your pitching arm.  When Fido was a puppy he drank milk from his mother.  The puppy drank dog’s milk; not cat’s milk, not cow’s milk, or any other milk produced by any other animal. Once Fido grows out of the puppy stage and can safely survive without his mothers milk then he gets his nutrition from solid food sources and when he is thirsty – yep, water.  No, he doesn’t go seeking out any milk sources from any other living being.

Then same goes for all animals.  Babies need their mothers milk, but beyond that they survive and thrive without milk products. Milk allergies are actually very common in adults. The idea that a person’s nutrition or sports performancde will suffer with out milk is a false notion.  There are plenty of nutrients in the fresh diet that athletes and active people should be consuming.  Check out the Vegan Athlete for ideas.  Vegetarian Sports Nutrition is a book that suggests meal plans for activities ranging from endurance sports to bodybuilding.  Even if you are not wanting to go vegan, variety it the spice of life.  Please your palate with something new and don’t be afraid to question what and why you put something into your body.  Just because it’s been done for decades doesn’t mean it has to be done anymore. Viva vegan, viva happy! -pm

“When you have no restrictions you have less options” -David T. Wilcox on being vegan.

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Physical Matters…because it does. Physmat is all about things that make you healthy and happy. It is a place that will focus on health, fitness, nutrition, the environment and more. The goal is to provide you with information that will help you be the most complete you. Forever Fit!

Trina Rachelle VerSteeg Wilcox is an on air talent, writer, and columnist with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Information Systems from Missouri State University. She is a certified fitness professional through FiTour and the Arthritis Foundation. Trina is a three-time Boston Marathon finisher, former aerobics instructor, and is the director of the JRA 5K. Although Trina has battled rheumatoid arthritis from childhood into adulthood, she has used a positive focus to prevail in a variety of ways. She has many interests including nature, art, and fitness. Trina writes to encourage and teach others as well as herself.

Contact Trina at and learn more at

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It is not a substitute for any advice given to you by your physician.
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Kid’s Fitness

In this day of video games and DVDs, kids and adults are in need of more daily activity. Physical activity. The kind where they run around until they can’t catch a breath or pedal a bike so hard they make going uphill look like a slide down a mountain side. These days so many kids are out of touch with fitness that grandma’s knitting looks like cardio. USA Today says that one-third of U.S. adolescents are overweight. With easy access to junk food and limited physical activity the number will continue to rise. School physical education classes help but are not enough. Like many life long habits, kids imitate actions of their parents. Good health habits start at home. Teach kids that food and fitness is a good thing to understand and prove it. Get the family involved in physical activities as a whole as well as individually. Many gyms are adding kid’s aerobics to their schedule of events. Sign ’em up! Get them involved in learning how to fit fitness into their schedules at an early age so it isn’t an intrusion later in life when the doctor is brow beating Jr. to drop a few lbs. Prevention is key to avoiding heart disease, type II diabetes, and other serious health problems. It is important to teach kids how to nourish their bodies with good nutrition and exercise for keeping the body functional throughout life. No, not every person is a born athlete but everyone can be fit like one. After all, Physical Matters! -pm

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A Dash of This and A Pinch of That

I was brought up to be a label reader. Both of my parents were careful about what we ate and taught us kids to be aware of what was in food and drink. It gets easier as you learn the the lingo – who knew sugar has more names than “Diddy” ? The practice came in handy but certainly never ends. Every time I think I’ve gotten quick and slick at zoning in on what to look for and what to avoid, something gets added to the yes or no list. For example, not long ago I learned that particular condiments use Worcestershire sauce which is usually made with anchovies (a type of fish). This information is extremely valuable to anyone allergic to fish or who is a vegetarian. I’ve even found “hidden animal” in vitamins and supplements. It doesn’t stop there, bath and body products are no exceptions. Do you know what is in your pets food and treats? Basically anything with an ingredients list is up for investigation. So buyer beware! Do your homework. There is a lot of helpful lists out there that you can take a with you to the store. You will get the hang of it. Hey while you’re at it, ya might as well start learning the jargon for “going green”. -pm

Here are a few interesting sites with helpful bits. There are tons out there so don’t stop with these!

Caring Consumer
Gorgeously Green

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Back to Fall

Blame the grasshoppers and crickets for telling everyone that summer has come to a close. They’ve told the kids to get back to class and the retailers to put out Halloween candy already. I was perfectly content with being oblivious to the signs of the season change and riding out summer for a few more weeks, or months for that matter. If you are having trouble adjusting to the flip of the calendar then you are not alone. Often times proper nutrition and fitness start to slip and turn into bad habits or become non-existent. Fight it. Don’t let those bags of holiday candy find a regular cozy corner in your shopping cart.

~Stay focused on making sure that you and your family are keeping healthy snacks around. You will grab those if you have them.

~Pick a fall event to walk or run as a family and plan to train for it. Knowing that you will need to be fit to finish will encourage you to at least maintain an exercise program.

~Get your pets out and play fetch or take a walk. Your buddy often gets shuffled aside in schedule changes but if you include them in staying moving and getting some fresh air you will both feel better!

Keep at it, because Physical Matters!!!

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Milk Your Mind

Popular misconception #1: Calcium = Dairy
Popular misconception #2: Protein = Meat

If you are wanting up step up your nutrition be sure you get the food facts. Many people believe that cow milk is the only way to get calcium or that animal meat is the best way to obtain protein. It’s NOT TRUE! Lots of vegan athletes out preform their meat-eating competitors. Maybe because they boost their brainpower with all the nutrient rich plant products they consume. Calcium and protein are just a few of the many valuable nutrients that can be consumed in large quantities without any cow tipin’!
(hint: check out broccoli and Lima beans)

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Physical Matters

Because it does.

I hope to make this a place that will focus on health, fitness, nutrition and more. Hopefully, I can help inspire help you be the most complete you.

  • Encouragement for your workouts
  • How to begin a fitness plan
  • Nutrition suggestions
  • How to Get Green
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