Sunday, August 23, 2009

Activity Alert!!!

Last week I met a really friendly woman named Heidi who was asking if we had a bulletin board to post information to members about rental properties/vacations/activities and etc. While we do not have that at the gym I figured the blog would be a good spot for that.

Here's her link:

It's a beautiful townhome in UT, and there are a TON of things to do in the area.

If any of you have any similar information that you 'd like to share feel free to send it to me-I'm happy to promote anything that encourages travel and activity :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

More Delicious Healthy Snacks/Foods

After going to a body building competition in Vegas at the end of July and seeing all these ridiculously tight and sculpted bodies I was motivated to step up my game and eat healthier. First things first, I stopped eating carbs other than fruits, veggies, oatmeal and rice, second I stopped eating cheese. I know what some of you are thinking, "But I looooove cheese!" Do you love your belly fat too? Now, I am not saying "hey everybody I did it so you should too." I'm also not saying I'm never going to eat bad carbs or cheese ever again (Every once and a while a slice of pizza or a burrito is inevitable ;) ) But I am saying, think about it. If you're not willing to cut these things out completely, at least consider reducing your daily/weekly intake of these foods. I promise you will notice a difference in how you look and feel pretty quickly.

So! Here are some RANDOM ideas for DELICIOUS foods and ways to prepare your food that are extremely enjoyable and will assuage the absence of bad carbs and cheese in your daily life :)

1. Black bean and mango salad-I cannot take credit for this, my awesome soon-to-be roommate Maria introduced me to this at the beach last month.
Black beans (rinse them off if canned)
diced mango
chopped red onion and your favorite peppers (red, green, yellow, orange...yummm)
cilantro to taste
garlic to taste
lime to taste
*diced tomato optionial

How to eat it...
Over a green salad solo or with chicken or steak
I cooked a chicken burger this afternoon and topped it with this salad-AMAZING!
If you're not cutting out the bad carbs you can treat it as a salsa with chips

2. Healthier twist on veggies and dip...ditch the creamy based dips for some hummus
dip broccoli, peppers, carrots, cucumbers or etc in hummus, I recommend Sabra, it's my favorite

3. Walnut oil...I recently read an article that talked about Walnut and other nut based oils being better for cooking because of the way they respond to heat-while olive oil is better for dressings and other room temperature recipes. I am always an advocate of diversifying any diet and trying not to eat or use the same foods/ingredients more than once a day or everyday for that matter. Remember, in every context the body needs change.

4. Turbo broiler!!! Years ago I got one of these as a gift-probably one of the best gifts I ever received. I get annoyed when I bake or sautee meat or fish and it comes out dry. My cooking skills apparently are not developed enough to figure out how to stop this from happening. But I don't need to because the turbo broiler does it for me!!! It may take a little longer than cooking things on the stove-but the juiciness of the food is totally worth the wait.

5. Hard-boiled simple we sometimes forget. Inspired my friend Sandy I started hard-boiling some eggs in the beginning of the week and leaving them in the fridge (she recommends soaking them in cold water so they cool faster, and peeling them before storing them in the fridge in a ziploc bag). Easy snack and full of protein. If you're watching cholesterol ditch the yolk! Another benefit is that they are easily transportable for those of you on the run.

6. Adobo...makes everything taste better :) You can find it in the international foods aisle at the grocery store. It comes in a variety of flavors and there is a "light" option that's lower in sodium. Lots of time when dieting or eating healthy we settle for less flavor in our foods as well. A little spice never killed anyone, but savory foods ameliorate the dieting/eating healthy resentment we sometimes feel.

*Note if Adobo isn't your thing spend a little time in the spice aisle at your grocery store and try out a few that sound good to you. Last time I was in A&P I was taken aback by all the options and flavors! Sprinkling a little spice usually adds fewer calories than most marinades just pay attention to the sodium because some spices have salt mixed in.

7. Non-Dairy milk options. There are lots of options when it comes to milk that do not involve cows! I have a predilection for almond milk (great in protein shakes, oatmeal and cereal) but there are also other nut milks, soy milk, hemp milk and etc. Click on "non dairy milk options" above to check out the options. Some come sweetened or unsweetened, plain, vanilla or chocolate...and still offer a good amount of protein and healthy dose of fat.

8. Protein Pancakes! This is not the worst source of carbs if you buy whole wheat pancake mix. Follow the normal recipe (feel free to sub egg whites for real egg if you like and any of the above milk options for regular or skim milk as well) and I like to throw in a scoop of vanilla protein powder. If you want to get really creative here are some other delicious add in options:
apples and cinnamon
oatmeal and cinnamon

While they can be tasty enough on their own if you MUST have syrup opt for a lite or sugar free choice for less calories :)

9. Egg White Frittata. I have to thank my mom for this one she made it for me when I was home last weekend! Takes 20 minutes and it's delicious.

Directions: Coat a pie dish with non-stick cooking spray or olive oil.
Pre heat oven to 375
Mix ingredients in pie dish
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until egg is thoroughly cooked

Ingredients (these are only my suggestions, you can vary according to your taste)
Egg Whites
Fresh Spinach leaves chopped
Diced tomatoes
chopped onion
low fat or fat free cheese is optional
garlic powder and oregano to taste

*not a fan of spinach? sub broccoli or peppers

10. Baked Sweet Potato Fries. My mom was on fire last weekend, she introduced me to this one also (via my Aunt Nancy). This one is also extremely easy and DELICIOUS! Low maintenance + healthy = ideal combination :)

Peel sweet potato and chop into slices (any length is fine, I prefer about 1/4" thick but that's totally up to you)
Toss the slices in a bowl with olive or canola oil
*Salt and pepper or other spices optional
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned

**The trick, be sure to flip them at 10 minutes

Do you have any particularly healthy ways of preparing foods? favorite recipes? or other "go to" products for eating well? Share them with us by commenting or emailing me at

Thursday, August 13, 2009

NO EQUIPMENT NEEDED! Cardio/Sculpting Workout

I can't take credit for this workout, I found it in SHAPE magazine.
I'm posting it because I know many of you are busy and look for things to do at home that don't involve going to the gym...or some of you are always looking for those "in front of the TV" exercises. This is perfect for that!

*Note: RPE = rate of perceived exertion. It means on a scale of 1-10 how hard you feel like you're working. As your fitness level increases, your perception of how hard you're working will too. What does that mean? if you keep up the good work, in a month or two your current 8 will only be a 5-6. Yessss!

Time Activity RPE
0-3 minutes march/walk 3
3-5 Jumping Jacks 4
5-7 Run 7-8
9-10 Lunges to front kick 6-7
10-20 repeat mins 5-10 2x 6-8
20-21 push ups 5-6
21-23 Run 7-8
23-26 repeat mins 20-23 5-8
26-30 march/walk 3

*had a little trouble w/ formatting on this one, sorry the last column isn't perfectly lined up. If you can't figure it out email me at and I'll send you a word document that is lined up!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thoughts, promotion and HELP!

Wanted to use the blog to promote some things that are going on, people I enjoy, businesses and causes I believe in and get your help brainstorming a name for my new website coming this month!

*****I'm trying to come up w/ a name for my new website. This will be my website for years to come so I want it to be a memorable name. It should be fun, fitness related, maybe or maybe not include my name. Here's what I've come up with:

I need thoughts, suggestions, ideas...share youre creativity with me please!!!

*****Whether you're a NYSC member in Hoboken or Jersey City or not everyone should know about Ride For Reagan. Julie Huggins is the Fitness Manager at NYSC Hoboken North and has been working diligently to raise money for her niece's college fund. Julie herself is an awesome, positive person to be around, she's super helpful, extremely fit and knowledgeable about fitness. While pregnant with her niece Reagan her big sister Robin was diagnosed with cancer-Reagan had to be delivered very prematurely and luckily made it and is now 12 years old. Julie's big sister Robin however, was only around to enjoy one year of Reagan's life. From now until Aug 15 we're collecting donations at NYSC for Reagan's college fund. Even as little as $10 is appreciated!!

Many of you are familiar with my knife selling background. While working for Cutco I was fortunate enough to work with some of the most amazing people I've ever met a few of whom started a non profit organization called Front Row Foundation. Their mission is to help people with terminal illnesses live life in the front row. They organize opportunities for people of all ages with terminal illnesses to be in the front row for their favorite sports team, singer, show and etc. These people often get to meet some of the athletes or celebrities during the event and it's a true gift to be able to forget about their illness, pain and suffering for one day and LIVE LIFE IN THE FRONT ROW.

How can you help? check out the site, there are fund raising opportunities and events to participate in one of which is the Atlantic City Marathon coming up Oct 18.
If you're a runner, or racer of any kind (5K's count too!) and you don't have a cause to run or race for, consider making the Front Row Foundation your cause. Go to for more details.

******I put up this video on my facebook today b/c in speaking with some close friends, family members, NYSC members I've been feeling lately like a lot of people are "in a funk" and some of you have even used those words to describe yourself. This commercial is about getting up just one more time than you get knocked down-which is a great way to think about it because we're all constantly getting knocked down.

Now, sometimes it takes more than a video to get back up. When I was struggling myself back in January after a tough break up and my grandfather passing I needed more than just myself to get back up and I sought the help of a life coach. It may or may not be for you but I have to say it's definitely one of the best investments I've ever made. So if you're in a little bit of a rut, and even if you're not-if your life is going amazing right now and you want to take it even higher check out my coach: Jon Vroman

Last but not least a few other sites that motivate and inspire me regularly:

Monday, August 3, 2009

We've covered a lot of's time for some HOW

Sometimes people ask me what I do when I'm not training clients or teaching classes. Other than catch some sun at the pier in Hoboken 8) I read voraciously to pick up ideas for the blog, my clients and future writing endeavors.

The two ideas I want to share this week are not about what to eat but how you actually eat your food.

I came across this in Glamour Magazine (please note, I do not advocate any and all health and fitness tips from magazines, but I did like this one!)

"Eat with your opposite hand"...why? because it slows you down and requires more concentration. Many of us are constantly rushing around or have the tendency to eat our food too quickly which can result in overeating because we don't give our bodies the time to realize we're full. Slowing down when we eat is a great way to do this-so give it a shot, grab that fork with the wrong hand next time you sit down for a meal! (I have to imagine you'd probably burn a few extra calories laughing also because this is bound to be a little awkward :P)

"Savor your food"...This idea is taken from a book called The Nutrition Solution by Harold J. Kristal, D.D.S. and James M. Haig, N.C.

Many of us love eating and enjoy the way our food tastes but we don't actually take the time to fully enjoy it. A lot of us eat in front of the TV or even standing at the counter, we grab things to go, eat in the car, while we're walking or multi-tasking in other ways. The Nutrition Solution talks about enjoying everything about your food-taste, colors, textures and aromas. Try to eat in a calm, relaxed atmosphere-obviously you'll enjoy the food more-but also which may come as a surprise to many of you as it did to me-this will also increase your body's ability to digest it. If you're on the run, stressed out or in a hectic environment you won't derive the maximum benefits of the foods you eat. Think of meal time as a time to slow down-eat slowly, chew the food thoroughly, which also helps digestion (don't just wolf it down between meetings or tasks). Savor your food, and take some time to appreciate it-not just the food itself, but that you're even lucky enough to have it!

Is this realistic for every meal of the day? Maybe not-but can we find time to slow down for 1-2 meals a day to more thoroughly enjoy nourishing our bodies? I think so! So if you forget everything you just read remember these two things when it comes to eating: slow down and enjoy!