Monthly Archives: March 2012

Recipe Makeover: Chocolate Chip Cookies

  |  in Blog, General, Healthy RecipesNo Comments

I don’t know about you, but Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of my favorites. Nothing sounds better than warm chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven. Thankfully, there are ways that we can make “healthier” versions of our favorite treats. Below is a recipe that I recently came across in a fitness magazine for Choclate Chip Cookies. I will be trying this recipe soon. If you try this recipe, let us know what you think! Do you have any recipe makeovers? Please share.

With a gram of fiber and less than half the fat of most homemade varieties, these revamped cookies won’t take a bite out of your calorie budget.

Makes 60 cookies.
Prep time:
20 minutes (plus 1 hour chilling)
Cook time: 22 minutes

3/4 cup rolled oats
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra-light olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread oats on a baking sheet; toast for 10 minutes. Remove and turn off oven.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat together oil, butter, and sugars with an electric mixer. Add egg, egg white, and vanilla, beating until well combined. Fold in oats, flour mixture, and chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate dough for 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rounded teaspoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set and golden brown. Cool 5 minutes on sheets; transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.


Nutrition score per serving (2 cookies): 108 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated), 15 carbs, 2g protein, 1g fiber, 1mg iron, 7mg calcium, 66mg sodium

Source: Shape Magazine – April 2012

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Weight Loss Plateaus: How to Get Over the Hump

  |  in Blog, Exercises, General, Motivational TipsNo Comments

You’ve put in the hard work. You’ve overhauled your diet. You’ve put in countless hours at the gym, sticking to those grueling workouts time and time again. You’ve been rewarded with continuously dropping numbers on the scale. And then in happens: you hit a weight-loss plateau. Hitting a plateau can be more than just frustrating, it can be downright dispiriting. But it’s perfectly normal for your weight loss to gradually slow down and even come to a complete halt. Don’t let this discourage you to the point that you revert back to old habits.

Reasons for Weight-Loss Plateaus

The main reason people experience weight-loss plateaus is that their new, svelte bodies require fewer calories to maintain their weight when compared to their previous calorie needs at a heavier weight. When you initially reduce your calorie intake, through a reduced-calorie diet, exercise or both, you drop weight quickly.

Another reason people experience pleateaus is that they are losing muscle, which we know torches calories. This is especially true if they lose a lot of weight in a very short amount of time. The more muscle you lose, the more your metabolism slows down. This translates to fewer calories burned performing the same activities you had at a heavier weight. With continued weight loss, you need to exercise more or consume less in order to continue to create a calorie deficit that will lead to further weight loss.

Tips for Overcoming Weight-Loss Roadblocks

– Step up the exercise. Even adding an extra 15 minutes to your exercise regimen can produce huge results. Consider adding an extra mile to your walk/jog or extending your warm-up routine and cool down routine.
– Cut calories with small tweaks to your diet. Consider cutting a reasonable, small amount of calories from your daily intake. Cutting just 150-200 calories per day, the typical amount in a snack, can result in a couple pounds lost per month.

– Track your food intake and exercise. Make sure you’re not becoming more lax by increasing portions or slacking off at the gym.

– Switch up your exercise routine. Unfortunately, as you become more physically fit, your body becomes accustomed to the same old gym routine. Your body actually becomes more efficient at performing the same activities. Take up a completely new type of exercise to keep challenging your muscles. Add resistance training to your workout. Start lifting weights, that is. Weight-lifting adds calories-incinerating muscle to your downsized frame, which helps you burn more calories all day long, even while your body is at rest.

Try not to lose sight of what is important when it comes to weight loss: your health. Studies have shown that people whose motivating factor for weight loss is improved health, rather than achieving a certain body size or shape, have more success with losing weight and maintaining that weight loss over a long period of time.

To Happy, Healthy Living,
InCharge Fitness Team


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Increase Your Metabolism: Naturally!

  |  in Blog, Exercises, General, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

Yes, there are ways that you can increase your metabolism naturally! Start speeding up your metabolism through nutrition and fitness. Read below.

Metabolism-Boosting Foods
Food does some amazing things for our bodies, including fight disease, so it’s not a suprise that some foods naturally boost your metabolism. Try adding some of the following foods to your diet each day:

– green tea
– oatmeal
– grapefruit
– broccoli
– hot peppers
– low-fat dairy
– acai juice
– lean meats

Metabolism-Boosting Exercises
Burning calories means adding activity to our lifestyles, and exercise sessions are the real metabolism boosters. Try incorporating both cardio and strength exercises like:

– Cardiovascular: biking, brisk walking, elliptical trainers, climbing stairs, or aerobics class
– Muscle building: lifting weights, using resistance bands, push ups, squats, and chin-ups
– Circuit training: a combination of cardio exercise alternating with muscle-building exercises

Metabolism-Slowing Pitfalls

Just as there are natural ways to boost your metabolism, there are also natural ways you slow your metabolism–often without even knowing about it. Here are a few:

– Skipping meals–always eat breakfast!
– Sleeping less than 6 hours a night.
– Eating empty calorie foods–exchange them for low carb, low-fat, high nutrition foods.
– Choosing processed foods–exchange them for whole grains.


To Happy, Healthy Living!
InCharge Fitness Team

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No Bake Energy Bites

  |  in General, Healthy RecipesNo Comments

I just made this recipe a few weeks ago for our staff at MedSave and they were a big hit! These are a perfect snack if you are craving something sweet or looking for a quick snack to give you a boost of energy!  Enjoy!


  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 1 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. (*I melted my chocolate and peanut butter together in the microwave so the balls would stick better.) Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.)  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Makes about 20-25 balls.


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The Effects of Strength Training Exercise and Dieting

  |  in Blog, Exercises, GeneralNo Comments

Strength training exercise is important for everyone. It helps decrease your body fat while increasing your lean muscle mass. It also helps your body burn calories more efficiently. Strength training also keeps your bones strong, improves your flexibility and balance, and helps you sleep better and feel better about yourself. When combined with a healthy diet, strength training can help you lose weight and manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and depression.

Types of Strength Training

There are several types of strength training to choose from. Weight training depends on gravity, and the use of dumbbells or training equipment to oppose muscle contraction. This type of training engages your muscles throughout their range of motion to focus on strength and size. Here are some of the other types of strength training and their benefits.

  • Circuit training combines strength exercises with endurance activity, so that you get strength, cardio and flexibility training from one workout.
  • Resistance training can be done in water, or with elastic bands, to improve your overall muscular strength.
  • Isometric training requires that you hold a weight or a position, without movement, for a period of time in order to improve muscular strength. Isometric training targets specific muscles and can strengthen joints.
  • Plyometric training uses shorts bursts of movement, such as hopping and jumping, to increase speed, strength and power. This type of training forms part of the programs used by athletes.
  • Core training strengthens the muscles in your abdomen and lower back and can help decreased lower back pain and spinal problems.

Strength Training And Dieting

Strength training can increase your metabolic rate to help you lose weight. But strength training itself requires a certain type of healthy diet. You should avoid sugars and fats, and include plenty of carbohydrates and protein in your diet to fully benefit from strength training exercise.

If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s okay to combine strength training with calorie counting, as long as you don’t overdo your workouts. But plan to have a pre-workout snack of yogurt, fruit, low fat cheese or whole grain bread and nut butter. Drink 2 to 3 cups of water about 3 hours before your strength training workout, to ensure that your body is properly hydrated. Drink another cup of water about 10 minutes prior to your workout.

Strength Training Does More Than Help You Lose Weight

Research has shown that those who include strength training in their workouts burn about 200 calories more per workout than those who performed aerobic exercises alone. Strength training exercises such as bench press repetitions and squats not only build up your biceps and triceps but they increase your metabolic rate to help you burn more calories even when you’re not exercising. Strength training exercise also increases your energy level, so you’ll be better able to perform aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming and cycling.

Strength training doesn’t just help you lose weight; it increases balance and flexibility, reduces your risk of injury, helps you feel confident and increases your general sense of well-being.


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