Lifestyle-as-Medicine Mentor

The power of lifestyle as medicine goes back thousands of years, and there is now consistent scientific evidence to support its influence on health. Approximately 80 percent of chronic diseases and premature deaths in the U.S. circle back to the way Americans live.

Some of the major medical society guidelines and recommendations emphasize lifestyle as first-line medicine (i.e., lifestyle interventions), which integrates exercise, nutrition, sleep, a healthy mindset, and other “lifestyle” modifications.

Karen consults and coaches her clients on the key lifestyle strategies for heart-brain health. She identifies them as the “Super Six” (using the acronym BRAINS) which are known to protect the body and brain from the wear and tear of aging and can add years to your life.

* Educate * Inspire * Empower *

HEALTH PROMOTION SPECIALIST/PUBLIC SPEAKER  Karen teaches lifestyle education classes to corporate wellness programs, medical groups, ‘Lunch and Learns’, retreats, and residential/fitness facilities. Her group-involvement activities and cooking demonstrations inspire interest in healthy eating, well-being, and longevity.

A self-proclaimed “tofutarian”, Karen’s Tofu 101 class is particularly popular with the strong interest in and the scientific evidence that many chronic diseases can be controlled, reduced, or even reversed by adopting a whole food, plant-predominant lifestyle. View Tofu 101 Testimonials here.

More plant-based lifestyle classes are coming soon… a five-week anti-inflammatory cooking and education series called Plant-Based Basics – Discover How to Live, Not How to Diet.

CLINICAL EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST  Karen specializes in exercise interventions for active aging with career experience in intensive cardiac rehabilitation. Functional assessments (including a posture evaluation) and small group personal training are designed for individuals who wish to maintain and improve their functional independence. Training includes the 13 components critical to physical function in older adults (age 50+) and emphasizes the 9 fundamental human movement patterns critical for performing Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).

Physical function is recognized as a powerful factor in the prevention and treatment of a number of health issues in older adults. Chronic lifestyle diseases and conditions associated with advancing age include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Overweight/obesity
  • Dementia
  • Parkinson’s
  • Other sensory impairments (vision, hearing, touch)

Even in the absence of disease, physical inactivity can lead to physical impairments, such as muscle weakness, poor cardiorespiratory endurance, inflexibility, poor reaction time, and ultimately advancing age.

Training takes place in a fun, supportive, and non-judgmental environment. All ages and abilities are accommodated with modalities and intensities that maximize each individual’s  level of physical function. View Testimonials here.

Various exercise modalities may be used to enhance functionality, e.g., Pilates reformer, barre, cycle, step, balance trainers, resistance bands, light weights, kettlebells, TRX. Functional training incorporates interval training, low-impact plyometrics, and functional circuits.

Training locations: San Ramon and Danville
Physician referral may be required. Private pay.

FITNESS NUTRITION SPECIALIST  Physical function is critical in the prevention and treatment of health conditions in older adults. Quality of life (QOL) encompasses some key lifestyle domains, such as healthy habits (nutrition + exercise), a healthy environment, and a healthy mindset.

Personal Meal Planning

Whether you’re looking for plant-based, anti-inflammatory, pescatarian, low glycemic, gluten-free, Mediterranean, or DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) menu plans, you can now have them designed to meet your specific needs and food preferences.

Karen is using a new tool that allows her to build the exact plan for you, down to the shopping list and recipes. And it’s all based on real food — not the latest diet trend or processed, packaged, and refined ingredients.

Stop worrying whether you’re eating a healthy balance of macronutrients and getting enough protein to maintain lean body mass (muscle). Save time planning weekly meals and forgetting to pick up items you need. Enjoy the convenience of having your personal meal plan shopping list (with Karen’s brand recommendations!) printed for you at the press of a button.

Hit a plateau? As you lose weight, your organs shrink along with your pant size. This requires an adjustment in your daily input, output, and muscle-building strategies. Your personal menu plan will provide you with clear-cut parameters, so you continue to improve your body composition.

You’ll stay accountable, be able to track your progress (e.g., vitals, labs, and selfies), and incorporate detailed, customized plans into your functional longevity goals. Plus you’ll have Karen to help you along the way. 💕 And the best thing is… it doesn’t matter where you live. You access your plans from the comfort of your own home and pajamas. If you need more guidance, you can schedule a private consult, and we can meet ‘face-to-face’ online too!

“Spring into Health” for $79 per month. Offers are limited. Email, text, or catch Karen during class… she’s happy to chat about getting you started right away. To sign up now, click here.

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Sarcopenia is a component of “frailty syndrome”. It is the loss of skeletal muscle mass, strength, and function — a consequence of normal aging:

  • After age 30, inactive adults lose 3% to 8% of their muscle mass per decade.
  • At around age 50, muscle atrophy (wasting away) becomes most noticeable.
  • After age 50, muscle decreases by 5% to 10% per decade.
  • From age 50 to 65, about 15 pounds of muscle mass are lost.
  • By age 85+, half of these adults needs some assistance with everyday activities and falls are more likely.

Chronic and yo-yo dieters are apt to lose even more muscle because 25 percent of weight lost is muscle. Weight regain is typically very swift. Without the proper foods and exercise to rebuild muscle mass, functional ability will decline (a downward trajectory). 

Eight indicators of frailty syndrome include:

  1. Weakness
  2. Fatigue
  3. Weight loss
  4. Low physical activity
  5. Poor balance
  6. Low gait speed
  7. Visual impairment
  8. Cognitive impairment

Proper exercise interventions, adequate nutrients, and precise nutrition timing are essential to avoid and combat frailty syndrome.

Exercise and nutrition are intimately related. Think of them as two wheels on a bicycle. If one is faulty or inadequate, you end up with a dysfunctional bicycle.

It is particularly critical for those with diabetes/pre-diabetes (who may have health complications that must be managed) to have the knowledge and understanding of pre-/post-exercise nutrition as well as how to engage in physical activity safely and effectively on medication and/or insulin.

Diabetes is linked to other physiological issues, such as soft-tissue injury and overuse injury as well as delayed-onset hypoglycemia from exercise, so it’s important to know how to compensate with proper nutrition, nutrition timing, and exercise intensity.

Whole food, plant-based eating plans have been shown to prevent and even reverse chronic diseases. Karen’s meal plans and nutrition coaching reflect this type of lifestyle.

Karen is trained to troubleshoot performance, optimize exercise training, and reduce risk of injury. Private pay.

Crow Canyon Medical Center
Office of Dr. Neil R. Okamura
1320 El Capitan Dr., Suite 310
Danville, CA  94526

MEDIA CONTRIBUTOR/TV HOST  Karen is a regular on television, video, and radio. She is KRON 4’s weekly health expert on the weekend morning news as well as host — and savvy dish flipper — of Flip This Dish!

Karen on ABC 10, Healthy 4th of July Snacks


  • Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, concentration in Biodynamics
  • Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist, American College of Sports Medicine
  • Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, American Council on Exercise
  • Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer, American College of Sports Medicine
  • Certified Orthopedic Specialist, American Council on Exercise
  • Certified Memory Program Specialist, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Certified Living Strong, Living Well Instructor (cancer), Stanford School of Medicine

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Karen Owoc
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m: 925.413.6207

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