Monday, February 28, 2011

Bible Bread

So, you think you're so cool because you eat a low-carb diet?  We'll cool people eat carbs.  Did you hear me?  COOL PEOPLE EAT CARBS!  Seriously...I would literally keel over and die during my workouts if I was on a low-carb diet.  I have tried them all.  I remember being on a low-carb diet years ago and almost fainting 3x during my workout because I had NO carbs  in my system.  If you are working out 5x per week like you all should be, then you need to fuel your body with a nice balance of carbs, proteins and fat.  When you choose you carbs though, choose wisely.  Choose whole wheat pasta, brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc...As far as bread goes, I completely LOVE  Ezekiel Bread aka "Bible Bread".  Ezekiel bread is sprouted 100% whole grain bread. It's ALL natural, no preservatives, flourless and it is super healthy!  It is rated THREE STARS at Hannaford using the Hannaford Guiding Stars.  That means it is totally healthy!  Ezekiel bread can be found in the organic, frozen section of Hannaford. It comes in about 3-4 flavors. I recommend always toasting it.  I have tried to thaw it and eat it, but it's like an English Muffin....tastes much better toasted.  My favorite is the Cinnamon Raisin. I have a slice most every morning with 1/2 serving of natural peanut butter and 8oz of skim milk.  This is my pre-workout meal.  LOVE IT!  80 cals per slice, 0 fat, 18 g carbs, 2g fiber and 3 proteins. It is about $5 per loaf.  I's expensive, but isn't your health worth it?  I have attached a photo so you know what to look for. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mom's Chicken Salad Recipe--The best EVER

You wanted more recipes?  I've got more recipes....  This one is one of my mom's specialties. She is an amazing cook and she never measures any ingredients, so this may be a bit general.  She whipped this up last year on the day after Thanksgiving using her left over turkey meat. This recipe is loaded with lean protein and even a serving of fruit and veggies! Modify as you choose!

White meat of a small roasted chicken or turkey  (tip-buy a rotisserie chicken in a time crunch)
1-2 stalks of celery 1 Granny Smith apple
1/2 onion
1/4 cup of Craisins
1/4 cup of walnuts
2 tbsp of light mayo (or just enough to hold the salad together)
salt and pepper to taste

Dice or chop all ingredients (except for the Craisins) and mix together.  Serve with a slice of whole wheat bread, a 1/2 of whole wheat wrap or wrap in Botson lettuce.  I have no idea what the nutritional values are, but if i had to guess....I would say a serving is about 1/2 cup and there is 15-20 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, about 220 cals and about 2-3 grams of fiber (from the apple).  Add more apple and veggies to get em in!  This is so delish. My mom invites me over for lunch every time she makes this.  The BEST chicken/turkey salad EVER!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Avoid the Dreaded Exercise Plateau!

Good morning!  What a great morning.  We took a Boot Camp Challenge field trip this morning to The Revolution (indoor cycling studio) in Clifton Park.  I could tell my campers were hesitant...many of them were surely out of their comfort zone.  However, once we started riding, many of them loved it! Thanks for a great workout Chris!  Remember the importance of cross training.  If we do the same exercise routine every time we workout, our body stops responding and we hit a plateau.  We are all creatures of habit. Therefore, comfort and sameness is what we crave.  Take a risk, get out of that comfort zone and challenge yourself!  A balanced cross training routine may look like this:

SUNDAY:     60 minute spin class
MONDAY:   Upper body weight routine and 5K run
TUESDAY:   Lower body weight routine and 30 minutes on elliptical
WED:            Rest day
THURS:        5k run and 30 minutes on stationary bike
FRI:               Upper and lower body weight routine and cardio of choice (intervals)
SAT:              Rest day

I know this may look completely impossible.  However, if you chip away at it and add a little bit in here and there, before you know it, you will reach your goals!  Remember...there is no quick fix.  Fitness takes hard work.  Also remember that Boot Camp Challenge can take care of your weight training and cardio  needs 3x in a given week.  If you take BCC and you take a spin class one day per week, that leaves only one more day for you to incorporate a cardio workout.  The rest is taken care of for you!  A new BCC session begins on March 8th with ME in Clifton Park.  If you need a change and are tired of feeling sluggish and miserable, call me.  We can chat. I am also running a huge promotion.  Sign up and recruit 2 new bootcampers and YOU get a free camp ($250 value) and your friends each get $50 off!  and this is only good in MY March 8th camp.  BCC really is for every fitness level and I promise to take good care of you :)  Visit my website for other locations!  Be well!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Water Slide Wedding CRUNCH TIME!

Blood, sweat and tears...that is what I have been putting into my workouts.  Okay, maybe there has been no blood or tears, but anyone who knows me, knows there has been quite a bit of sweat.  I have learned to embrace my sweat.  When I get a good "sweat on", I feel empowered.  My husband begs to differ.  He told me a few weeks ago that I should consider Botox.  Before, I could punch him, he quickly clarified that my face is beautiful just the way it is.  He said that I should consider it for medicinal purposes.  Apparently, Botox is now used as a "sweat blocker".  A few shots in those arm pits and you don't sweat as much.  Wow...between the lack of chocolates on V-Day and this comment, he's walking on thin ice.  I still love him though.  Luckily, it's VERY difficult to offend me.  So, the Waterslide Wedding is in 90 days from today and my sister Ally has been working hard to lose her baby weight (10 weeks postpartum) and I have been working my tail off to bounce back from the holidays so I can be in the best shape EVER as an almost 38 year-old bridesmaid.  Therefore, Ally and I have been putting off picking out our dresses until now...crunch time.  So, we did it.  We took the plunge and found our dresses yesterday. You will notice I am wearing both of them. We chose two different styles since we have completely different taste.  Ally will be wearing the green dress, but in HOT PINK.  I will be wearing the HOT PINK dress in HOT PINK. Two different styles, same color. This dress-up thing is right up Ally's alley.  For me though, it's tough.  If I'm not in spandex and sneakers, dripping with sweat, I am completely out of my comfort zone.  You can tell by the expression on my face in the photo...and that's WITHOUT the heels.  I will do my best though to act like a lady for my sister's wedding. It will be challenging, but I think I can pull it off. The dresses need some hemming and altering, but they are ordered and I cannot WAIT for my little sister to get married.  Because the wedding party consists of just my sister and I, the planning has been so intimate and so much fun. These are memories that we never will forget.....Bring on the heels, baby!!!!!!! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Breakfast Secret (there's even a photo)

I am not a cook.  Nor do I pretend to be.  I cannot believe after 12 years of turkey burgers, turkey taco salad, whole wheat pasta, and overcooked chicken, my husband is STILL married to me.  Thank God he is NOT a meat and potatoes man.  Well, he probably is, but he would never complain about my cooking.  The truth is, I have dinner on the table 99% of the time when he gets home from work, so he best NOT complain about my latest concoction.  He is also healthier than he has ever been since indulging in my cooking.  The bologna sandwiches on white bread that he used to bring to work are a distant memory.  Though I'm a boring cook, I make the BEST egg white omelets EVER!!!!  I took a picture of my plate this morning for you to see. Here is the recipe for a protein-power packed, low fat, low calorie breakfast.  I eat this 7 mornings per week post-workout. Keep in mind, this breakfast is ALL natural ingredients.  None of this fat-free or processed garbage. We are talking about 25 grams of protein, 300 cals, and 5 grams of fat and a serving of fruit and veggies. Can't beat it:

4 egg whites
1/2 bag of baby spinach
one slice of American cheese (deli)
one slice of 100% whole wheat toast
1 tbsp of Land O'Lakes whipped butter
1 orange or half of a banana

put a teeny bit of butter in a pan and melt it.  put your spinach in and cook until it wilts.  It cooks down to NOTHING so add a ton!  crack four egg whites over the spinach and cook.  Flip!  add a slice of cheese and folder over.  Voila!  serve with one slice of whole wheat toast with a smear of butter and a piece of fruit.  I am no chef, but this is GOOD.  Please note:  I only use natural ingredients.  I do not use low fat butter or fat free cheese.  I use a little of the real thing. MODERATION!  Try it and let me know what you think!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Diet Deprivation...

MY AWESOME HUSBAND MATT AND I.....(even though he never buys me chocolate).  HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY !!!!

Does it really take a Rocket Scientist to figure out why so many are depressed on Valentine's Day?  Even women in the most secure, happiest relationships find themselves a little sad on V-Day.  Why is that?  It is quite obvious.  Two weeks before V-Day we make a harsh decision.  We tell our men that we are watching our waistlines and this V-Day please do NOT buy chocolate.  Whatever!  I did that ONCE and it ruined my life.  One year in the beginning of our marriage when I was young and naive, I told Matt to please DO NOT buy me chocolate.  I was going to stick to my strict diet of zero sugar (back then I loved to fad diet).  I told myself that I could be strong, even on the ONE day of year where I had "permission" from Russell Stover and Whitman to have chocolate.  Though I told him not to buy me the heart full of chocolates he had bought me the year before, I secretly thought he would do it anyway.  My rationale was that if he bought it for me after I told him not to buy it, I would have to eat it because it would have been down right rude to not accept a gift from my husband. So, on V-Day that year, I opened my beautifully wrapped gifts.  I will NEVER forget it.  My dear Matt did NOT buy me chocolate. He listened to me and bought me zero chocolate.  I received a bathrobe that year and slippers in bright purple.  My favorite color is purple so Matt thought he would buy EVERYTHING in purple.  I looked like I threw up purple all over myself.  It was definitely a little much.  I was disappointed that year that I didn't receive chocolate and it has ruined every V-Day since.  I tell Matt every year now to buy me some chocolate, but he NEVER does! Don't get me wrong, I get dinner and nice little gifts, but what is up with that?  Ladies, don't ruin it for yourself!  Why put yourself through the deprivation?  You know what will happen...if you deprive yourself of anything 100%, then at some point you WILL weaken and binge like crazy!  MODERATION REALLY DOES WORK!  So, my message here is to enjoy your chocolate covered strawberries or a few chocolates.  Don't eat the entire box on chocolate per day for a week may be just what you need. I woke up this morning to a beautiful 2011 calendar this morning with photos of my boys, friends, and family from Matt and a BEAUTIFUL charm for my bracelet from my boys.  However, I didn't get any chocolate...Twelve years of marriage and he still thinks that I don't want chocolate....sigh...I will do today, what I do every year.  I will be go out to the drugstore  later to buy myself a box of RS....actually, if I wait until tomorrow, it will be 50% off ;)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kickin It With the Kindle

The BEST Christmas gift I received this past Holiday was the Amazon Kindle that my hubby, Matt bought me.  I am addicted.  I absolutely love to read and over the past few years I started becoming a book hoarder. I am not a clutter-bug except when it comes to books.  I have a book "shrine" in my family room.  Every book I have read is neatly categorized and displayed proudly (even the Twilight series). I was uncertain about the Kindle at first.  I love the feel and smell of a new book.  I was not sure if I would be able to give up my physical addiction to owning a variety of books.  All I have to say is that the habit was VERY easy to break.  My favorite part of owning my new Kindle though is incorporating the Kindle into my workouts.  My Kindle is actually a huge part of my 2011 "A 5K a Day Keeps the Fat Away" plan.  I usually do NOT condone reading or watching TV while working out.  I believe that being distracted from your workout can really hinder your calorie burning.  However, I also know that many of my clients would not workout between Boot Camp Challenge classes unless they could go for 45 minutes on the elliptical while watching their favorite TV show.  With that said, I encourage my clients to work a little extra hard or increase the resistance during the commercial breaks.  This helps them to stay focused.  So, what does this have to do with my Kindle?  Well, let me start off first by saying, when I run my 5K every day, I can do NOTHING except listen to music and face forward. If I turn my head a millimeter, I will most likely take a header. So far, I have lived up to my goal and commitment to a 5K per day and let me tell you...along with my strength training it has made a HUGE difference.  I am shedding fat and I have loads of energy and I no longer feel like 10 lbs of taters in a 5lb sack when I put on my favorite skinny jeans.  One thing though that is helping me get through it is my Kindle.  After my strength training and 5K each day, I grab my Kindle and ride the stationary bike for 20 minutes.  I pedal away and get lost in the latest novel that I downloaded.  Lately, it's been the novels of Kristin Hannah.  I love her books...Anyway, I get on the bike, put it on moderate resistance and go, go, go, read, read read, burning an additional 250 calories.  Sometimes, reading on the bike is the only "Kindle time" I get that day so I really look forward to it. There is no page turning. I just hit a button and the page turns.  It rests right on the machine and doesn't bounce up and down while I'm pedaling.  I love it so much and highly recommend it while you are on the elliptical, bike, or even treadmill if you can manage it.  Remember slacking.  Keep your eye on the prize of health and wellness!!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Boot Camp Challenge Before and After Success!

Sue B. is one of my many great Boot Camp Challenge success stories!  Sue came to me NINE years ago for help because she was overweight.  We worked on her nutrition, we worked on her exercise, but Sue just couldn't seem to lose weight.  Sound familiar?  She tried every diet in the book, would lose 5-8 lbs and then just put the weight back on again.  So, then I started the Boot Camp Challenge Program.  She signed up and was ready to go.  She came to every class and submitted a food journal, but Sue just wasn't losing weight.  I knew there was more too it, but I couldn't help Sue until she was honest with herself.  I knew there was a "mind block" and I had a feeling that she was indulging on certain foods but wasn't including them in her journal.  However, I was only with Sue 3 hrs per week.  I cannot help my clients until they are honest with themselves and until they want to truly make a permanent lifestyle change.  In January of 2009, Sue signed up for Boot Camp for the fourth time and told me this was it!  She had just met a wonderful guy and she was very happy with everything in her life except with her weight.  She told me she was sick of watching everyone in BCC class gain strength, lose fat and become faster and more agile.  She promised herself that she would give it 100%.  Oh boy...did she ever.  Sue started to melt away....literally. Within 8 weeks she lost about 10 lbs and decreased her body fat.  She left her 5lb weights in her car and started bringing 10 lb weights to class.  She started SLOWLY changing her eating habits and decided she would never diet again, just make healthier choices. Sue continued to transform from there.  It was the most unbelievable transformation that I ever witnessed.  She lost about 40 lbs in one year and has kept it off for over a year.  Sue just got engaged last weekend and is so excited that she feels great about herself and can pick out her dream wedding gown!  Sue's story is one that many of us can relate to.  She told me that there were a few things that contributed to her success after trying for so many years:

1.  NO EXCUSES.  Sue told me that she decided that no one or nothing (not even her Thyroid disorder) was to blame for her weight.  She took complete responsiblity after years of excuses.

2.  COMMIT 100%.  Sue finally committed and surrendered to the Boot Camp Challenge program and all of the blood, sweat and tears that came with it.  She realized that if she wanted change, it would take lots of hard work.

3.  SMALL CHANGES.  Though Sue decided literally overnight that she was sick and tired of feeling crappy about herself, she took baby steps to meet her goals.  She made one change to her nutrition each week and built on those changes week to week.  She  also started adding in additional days of exercise outside of Boot Camp Challenge class.

4.   FORGIVENESS.  Sue is not perfect.  She has slipped up several times over the past few years.  She has learned though to forgive herself for that extra cookie or missing a workout and start fresh the next day. 

All of these factors have contributed to Sue's amazing transformation.  I always tell my clients the following:  "I can give you the ingredients to fitness success. What you do with the ingredients is up to you!"  Fitness is hard work, every day.  There is no magic pill, shake or quick fix.  It's all about hard work and dedication.  Check out Sue's before and after pics!  I will post her WEDDING PICS later in the year!!!!!! Congratulations on your engagement Suzie Q!  You deserve the best wedding ever!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Autism is a Gift (sometimes)

So, this post has nothing to do with fitness.  However, my son has been on my mind lately so I feel the need to write about him.   My dear boy, Anthony... he is 9-years old and has been blessed with Asperger's Syndrome, a high functioning type of Autism.  I use the term "blessed" because our son wouldn't be who he is without his disabilty.  He knows more than anyone I know about the US Presidents and US History.  Not only does he know the names and order of all 44 Presidents, but he can tell you their years in office, the year they were born, the year they died, if they were democrat or republican, etc...I could go on and on.  He is also the Jeopardy King. We watch Jeopardy every night together and he just cannot figure out how I made it through life without being "smart".  With all of the blessings comes some challenges.  Anthony has a  bit of an issue with socialization.  Though he has friends, he is not aware of many social boundaries and can come across as "annoying" or "quirky/geeky". (GEEKS ROCK!) However, because he truly believes he doesn't need friends, he is quite resilient and stands up for himself.  Last week was pajama day in school and apparently it's not "cool" for the fourth grade boys to wear PJs to school.  So, Anthony announced to his fourth grade  on the day before PJ Day the following:  "I just want you all to know that I will be wearing the truck pajamas that my Nana bought me for Christmas.  Many of you may think that the PJs are babyish, but I will be wearing them."  He was the only boy in his class wearing PJs and he was so proud of it.  Yesterday, he went to the orthodontist and had this horrible piece of hardware put in his mouth (a palette expander).  He spits everytime he talked and FORGET about eating and drinking.  He reminds me of Joan Cusak in Sixteen Candles when she was trying to drink from the water fountain with her head gear attached.  The poor kid was mortified to go to school on Friday.  He was so afraid that he would be made fun of and frankly, I was too.  I wanted to put a shirt on him that said.  "If you make fun of me, my mom will make YOUR mom drop and give her 50".  I cannot always be there to protect him though :( When Anthony came home from school after a very long day of me worrying, he had a huge metal smile across his face.  I asked him how his day was and he said "GREAT".  I asked if the kids made fun of him and he said that no one did. Thank you Skano parents for teaching your children to respect others :)  He told me that he announced to everyone that he had an expander put in his mouth and that his speech would sound funny.  I love this kid...He then told me that he was practicing talking all day and that it was gettting easier to talk.  This kid is a real trouper.  He has been faced with huge challenges and he always manages to rise to the occasion.  His disability has been a HUGE challenge for him and for his Dad, brother and I.  We have always looked at his Asperger's as a challenge but also a blessing.  We have never had "poor me" syndrome and we certainly do not walk around with a storm cloud over our heads. We use humor and laugher to embrace his strengths and challenges.  He is an absolute blessing.  He has come so far and there is so much hope and support out there for kids on the Autsim Spectrum.  At this moment he is curled up with a book called "Extraordinary Women" (about historical superstar women).  He will be able to tell us all about the wonderful things that Clara Barton, Mother Jones, Elizabeth Eckford and many other women have done to pave the way for women.  Saratoga County, Skano and Shen School District have been exremely supportive and are contributing to his success.  He WILL be the next Alex Trebek or who knows...the next US Presdient.  Rock on, Anthony :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cabin Fever Part Two...The Workout

I feel really sorry for people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  This weather can be a real downer.  Somehow we need to figure out a way to work WITH the weather and not AGAINST it.  So we cannot get outside and go for a jog and our kids are missing yet another day of valuable education.  With that said, take a second to look outside.  The snow looks beautiful.  Part of the reason I live in the Northeast is because of the dramatic changes of season.  I wouldn't ask for anything else.  However, I need to get away from my home office and MOVE today.  My plan of 3 laps of walking lunges around the YMCA track, lower body weight training, running my 5K a day and my 15 minutes on the stationary bike has been shattered.  NO EXCUSES though!  I will be taking my children on a snow adventure today.  We will trudge through the snow and journey down to my mother's house. We will find the deepest snow to walk through while pretending to be lost in the snowy mountains.  Trudging through deep snow will burn some serious calories for sure!  I suppose I should shovel too. But I won't.  I hate shoveling.  I would rather shoot myself in the foot then shovel. I have a bad back and the last time I shoveled (about 5 years ago), I was in pain for days even though I made sure I had great form and used my legs to lift rather then my back.  So, I will tell all my readers to go out and shovel to burn some cals.  However, I will be curled up with my kindl and a cup of coffee next to the fire place.  I will venture out with the kids today on our snowy mountain adventure, do today's workout tomorrow, tomorrow's workout Friday and I will get my 5 days in.  I also have signed up for a 2 hour spin class at the Y on Sunday.  It's a fundrasier and for a good cause so why the heck not?  I probably won't be able to sit for days, but that's about 1200-1400 calories burned!  Whoo!!!!  So, here is my recommendation for a great at-home, cabin fever, total body workout. You will need a stop watch and a jumprope (jumprope is optional)

1. 5 minutes of jumping rope, jogging in place or running up and down your stairs

2. 5 minutes of 10 push ups (on the wall, on your knees or on your toes), flip and do 20 crunches or sit ups (repeat for 5 min)

3. 5 minutes of walking lunges around your house

beginners:  complete sequence, rest for 3 minutes and repeat the sequence again for a total of 30 min
intermed:   repeat 3x (45 min)
advanced:  repate 4x (60 min)

Completing this workout works your entire upper body, your lower body and your heart.  Have a great snow day and enjoy your little ones today.  These days will go by fast :)