Thursday, May 30, 2013

Step Up to the Calorie Counter: Salad in a Jar

Love salad?

Think they're too hard to pack for lunch when you're away from home?

No longer! Try packing your salad like this for a crisp, tasty and colorful salad on-the-go.

Courtesy Excellent Eats

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Step Up to the Calorie Counter: Baked Egg in Avocado

Try this tasty breakfast option for any time of the day, any day of the week. Serve it with wheat toast and fruit salad for a complete, tasty meal.

Baked Egg in Avocado

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Place a cast iron or oven-safe skillet on the middle rack to heat.

Cut a medium or large avocado in half and remove the pit. Using a spoon, scoop out a little more of the avocado to make room for the egg.  If your base is wobbly, you may want to slice a little of the skin off to stabilize it. 

Carefully remove the heated pan from the oven and place the avocado in it.

Crack a small egg into the hole of the avocado, reserving a small amount of the white if it looks like it will overflow. Season as desired, place the skillet back in the oven, and cook until the egg white is completely cooked. Depending on how done you prefer your yolk, this should take about 10-15 minutes.

(Tip: Covering the skillet with an oven-safe lid would speed the process if you’re low on time.)

Once the egg is done, serve it with fruit salad, toast or a whole wheat tortilla with salsa.  

Courtesy Diets in Review

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tai Chi Tuesday: Holistic Approach to Fighting Pain Takes Root in American Medicine

There is no panacea for pain. We can take a pain reliever, but that masks the symptoms. Doctors are beginning to join forces with patients to alleviate the root of the problem — or, barring a cure, manage chronic pain.

According to the AARP, doctors have begun to use a holistic approach, joining mind and body, with long-term management options for chronic pain of arthritis, injury or other ailments.

Not surprisingly, one of the key elements of chronic pain management is exercise: tai chi, yoga and dance, to name a few. Doctors already have identified the value of tai chi with heart patients and stroke patients and also have identified its importance to bone health.

The AARP Bulletin article "Fight Pain" (April 2013) lists not only tai chi, but acupuncture and massage among the tools doctors have begun using to treat chronic pain (which, according to the article, "becomes a disorder in its own right").

In these cases, doctors prescribe pills and other medications cautiously because the relief is temporary and limited. Escalating doses don't always help and often lead to dependence on the medication.

To find a tai chi class near you, check with your local parks and recreation department or check with the International Taoist Tai Chi Society.

For those who can't easily make it to class: consider using a DVD at home. E-mail me for some suggestions.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Step Up to the Calorie Counter: Quick Combos

On those morning when you have no time, keep these items on hand for breakfast. Most of them are staples. Don't hesitate to substitute a few for your own personal favorites, or mix and match to suit your taste.

Image courtesy of theBERRY.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Drink (and Eat) This, Not That, to Fight Arthritis

The number of Americans affected by arthritis increases daily. Take these tips by from the AARP to fight arthritis:

Check out the monthly AARP Bulletin for more health tips and information.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tai Chi Tuesday: Fixing Tebow

According to Deadspin and Newsday, quarterback coach Steve Clarkson fixed Tim Tebow's elongated throwing motions — with tai chi. Clarkson noted that Teabow's feet and his arms were not working in unison, it appears.

"There was a lot of Tai Chi that we kind of put into his workouts where we really taught him to make his body work as one unit," Clarkson was quoted in Newsday. He also noted that Tebow lost about a dozen pounds, which helped his form.

(Photo courtesy Steve Clarkson: Dreammaker)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Step Up to the Calorie Counter: Fruit Cup With Peanut Butter

Fruit Cup With Peanut Butter

Imagine a cup with your favorite fruit — bananas, oranges, berries, mango, pineapple — topped with a dollop of peanut butter.

Choose your fruit and enjoy that healthy snack. Choose fruit in season and mix it up as the weather changes.

Courtesy Fitness for Bombshells via Beautiful Pictures of Healthy Foods.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Exercise for Menopausal Women: Less is More

"I'm getting a muffin-top for the first time in my life."

This wasn't the first time a 40-something female client lamented her unexpected weight gain, so I asked a few questions.

She hits the gym hard nearly every morning, early, taking only the rare day off.

Sleep? Maybe six hours a day.

I didn't even have to ask about her diet. I prescribed immediately:


She looked at me, confused. She was doing what she had been told: work out hard and you'll get the shape you want. And here I was telling her something very, very different.

New research has revealed that the harder peri-menopausal and menopausal women work out, the more likely they are to not reach their weight goals. They're not gaining extra muscle and they're not losing extra fat.

Here are a few recommendations for women who have hit a plateau at that stage of their lives:

  • Sleep, sleep, sleep. Adults need at least seven to eight hours of sleep every day. Any less than that, your body has lulls during the course of the day and your metabolism comes to a screeching halt. Your body needs more rest and recovery so you can reach your fitness goals.
  • No high-intensity cardio. Keep your heart rate elevated but steady. Do not look for an extra-high heart rate to make extra gains because it won't work.
  • Take time off. Work out no more three to four times a week. Make sure you have two consecutive days of rest after a workout.
  • Add weight training. It helps increase bone density and burns more calories over the course of the next couple of days after a workout.

Don't forget your basics:

  • drink enough water (aim to drink a glass of water when you wake up, a glass when you go to bed and a glass with each of your small meals) 
  • eat five or six small meals rather than three big ones (but keep your total calorie count the same as you would for the bigger meals)

Be sure to check with your trainer if you have questions, or send me an e-mail.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Step Up to the Calorie Counter: Warm Lemon Water

Lemon water, the latest water craze, is worth the buzz.

Squeezing fresh lemon into a glass of water puts natural lemon juice in pure water (including the pulp). No additives or preservatives.  Just vitamin C and citrus goodness.

But don't put it on ice, especially after a workout. Your body absorbs room-temperature or even warm (not hot) water better than cold water.

Why You Should Drink Warm Lemon Water (