Thursday, March 28, 2013

Step Up to the Calorie Counter: Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast Cookies with Oatmeal, Bananas, Peanut Butter and More

  • Two ripe bananas, mashed until smooth & creamy
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter  
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp butter flavor extract (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quick oatmeal  (or use old fashioned oats for more oatmeal-y texture)
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/4 cup carob or chocolate chips (optional — for some people)

Preheat heat oven to 350ºF.

  1. In a large bowl, mix mashed banana and peanut butter until completely combined.
  2. Add in the applesauce, vanilla protein powder and the extract(s). Mix again until all are completely combined. 
  3. Add in the oatmeal, nuts and chips.
  4. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Drop cookie dough, by spoonfuls, onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet & flatten cookies into circles. 
  6. Bake cookies 20-30 minutes, until golden brown and done, or as doughy as you like them.
  7. Rest on cookie sheet for five minutes, then move to cooling rack.  
  8. If you want the traditional fork tong marks on the cookies, use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to score the tops of the cookies while they're still warm.

When cookies are completely cool, store in a covered container. 

Courtesy Watching What I Eat.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fitness Workshop in Fairfax Set for 4/20

Fitness Workshop 
with David Cohen
1 pm • 
April 20

10360 North Street, Fairfax, Va.

No matter how long you've been exercising, there's always something new to learn.

Spend some time with this personal trainer and fitness expert for a talk on fitness, health, weight loss tips, weightlifting and body composition at this workshop.

Here are a few topics I'll discuss at the workshop:

  • fitness
  • weightlifting 
  • food and calories
  • BMI
  • body fat composition

Hope to see you there!

(By the way, if you have questions but you're unable to make it to the workshop, drop me a line. You may inspire a blog article!)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tai Chi Tuesday: Good for Your Heart

Medical science continues to catch up with ancient Asian practices: doctors have begun to recognize the value of tai chi for patents diagnosed with heart failure.

In a National Institutes of Health study, Dr. Gloria Yu concluded, "Preliminary evidence suggests that meditative exercise may have benefits for patients with chronic systolic heart failure." She added,

Tai chi may represent an additional exercise option for patients with [heart failure] because it integrates multiple relevant processes, including mild to moderate aerobic activity, upper and lower extremity training, and core strengthening. In addition, it includes a meditative component that may enhance stress management, promoting important psychosocial benefits for those living with [heart failure].

Physicians continue to recognize the value of tai chi for many patients. Studies already have indentified the value of tai chi for people who have experienced strokes or COPD, need to improve bone strength and want to "boost brain power."

Tell me: what are some of the values you have found with this gentle, effective practice?

However, she immediately added, "This has not been rigorously tested in a large clinical sample. We sought to investigate whether tai chi, as an adjunct to standard care, improves functional capacity and quality of life in patients with [heart failure]."

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Step Up to the Calorie Counter: Neat Apple and PB Sandwiches to Go

While apples are at their peak, take advantage of them: use apples to make a healthy, neat peanut butter sandwich. 

Here's a recipe from Whole Living.
Photo: Johnny Miller, via Whole Living


  • 1 apple, halved and cored with a teaspoon
  • 2 teaspoons all-natural crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon old-fashioned rolled oats


  1. Stuff cored apple halves with peanut butter and sprinkle with oats.

Press the parts back together and go!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tai Chi Tuesday: Chi Demonstration Revisited

I originally recorded a demonstration in which I  moved my brother Bob with my chi.

However, after I shared it, a number of viewers told me they thought it was rigged.

I re-did the demonstration with Matt, telling him as little as possible beforehand. This is what happened.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Step Up to the Calorie Counter: Easy Lunch 'Recipe'

Don't complicate lunch: use these four easy steps from Keep Your Diet Real "Quick and Healthy Lunches."

The illustrations below from the website give you only a taste of your options. Get the full scoop — and more ideas and tips — at Keep Your Diet Real.

Choose Your Fruit

Choose Your Vegetable

Choose Your Entree

Choose Your Dessert

Just from the photos above, you can put together more than two dozen different meals. Stop by Keep Your Diet Real for more ideas!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tai Chi Tuesday: Making 'Part the Horse's Mane' Consistent.

Tai Chi Tuesday: Making 'Part the Horse's Mane' Consistent

As much as I hate to admit this, I do not always catch all of my students' mistakes. As a result, sometimes movements are not perfect or consistent. Let's strive for perfection by going through the form by focusing on each posture in the form, starting with part the horse's mane.

We will begin from Tai Chi ball left.

Your left foot should be directly next to your right foot, with the heel raised.Slightly.

The left arm is at waist level with the palm facing the ceiling and the arm in a slight arc.

The right arm is just below or at shoulder level with the palm facing downward, facing the left elbow and also slightly arced. The right elbow is relaxed and below the right wrist.

Step out 45 degrees with the left foot. Then, by keeping the right arm in place, gently slide the left hand under the right arm. As the left palm meets the right wrist, the right arm starts to pull back and down, stopping just outside the right hip with fingers facing the floor at a 45-degree angle.

The left arm arcs left so the palm ends up facing your mouth. The torso follows the arm and stops 45 degrees to the left.

By delaying the movement of the right arm until the left palm passes over the right wrist, your part the horses mane will be smoother and more consistent.

Notice how often that 45 degree angle come into play here. (We will discuss this more in the future.)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fitness Friday: Eat According to Your Goals

What does this rule mean to you?

Here are a few guidelines:

1. Protein for Muscles: Less is More
If your attempting to gain muscle mass, a common mistake is to eat too much protein. Protein is thermogenic. It aids in burning more calories. The body can't digest more than 25-30 grams of protein at one time. So when you drink a shake that contains 40-50 grams of protein your body gets rid of the excess, as waste.

2. Protein for Weight Loss: More is Better
For those who are eating for weight loss, more protein may do the trick. Consuming too many carbohydrates may spike blood glucose levels. This causes the body to produce more insulin, which is what dictates how the cells store fat. Shoot for 55-60 percent of your calories coming from protein.

3. Stay Ahead of the Eating Curve
With practice, you will be able to time your meals to every four hours or so. Although this may sound counterproductive for weight loss, it's not — eating smaller meals more often during the day provides more energy during the day and allows you to burn extra calories.

4. Stay Hydrated
Along with meals be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Your body will have a tough time digesting food, and keeping your energy stores up if it's not properly hydrated.