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Baked Oatmeal Cups (Gluten Free & Diabetic Friendly)

  |  in Blog, General, Healthy RecipesNo Comments

These grab and go breakfast cups are perfect for those who “don’t have time” for a nutritious breakfast.  You can please your entire family with this dish as they can each choose their preferred topping. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 6 packets of stevia or 1 1/2 teaspoons stevia powder or use 1/2 cup honey
  • 5 cups, Old Fashioned rolled oats { I used Bob’s Red Mill}
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • Optional toppings: raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana and Stevia together in a bowl.
  3. Add in oats, flax, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and mix well with wet ingredients.
  4. Finally pour in milk and combine. The batter will look runny, don’t worry!
  5. Spray a 12 and 6 capacity muffin tin with cooking spray or use cupcake liners (spray cupcake liners with nonstick cooking spray too).
    Pour mixture evenly into muffin tin cups.
  6. If using toppings add them onto the tops of muffins now. If using fresh or frozen fruit, drop it right into the batter.
  7. Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool and enjoy or freeze them in gallon freezer bags.

Additional Notes:

  • Use a half cup to one cup of honey in place of stevia if you don’t have any.
  • Nutrition info is without any toppings.
  • Freeze them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag after they have cooled. Thaw overnight in refrigerator for morning you want them. Reheat 45-60 seconds.
  • If you are gluten free, make sure you are using certified gluten free oats and baking powder.
  • I used a 1/4 cup to fill each muffin and the extra batter I had was about a half cup and I “topped” off some that looked smaller.

Nutrition Info (without toppings)
Servings: 18* Calories for one: 143* Fat: 4g* Cholesterol: 25mg* Sodium: 32mg* Fiber: 4g* Sugars: 4g* Carbs: 23g* Protein: 6g*

Source: www.sugarfreemom.com

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InCharge offers “Kettlebells for Beginners”

  |  in Blog, Exercises, GeneralNo Comments

You have heard people talk about kettlebell workouts but you’re still not even sure what a kettlebell is. A kettlebell is a type of weight that looks similar to a bowling ball with a handle on it.  You can complete an entire full-body workout that incorporates cardio, strength training, core stabilization, and flexibility with one kettlebell of the appropriate weight. This makes kettlebell training accessible and easy to incorporate into your lifestyle.  

Do you want to try a kettlebell class? InCharge Fintess now offers “Kettlebells for Beginners” every Monday from 12:15 to 12:45PM. Join them as instructor Paul Voss leads the participants through an awesome and fun workout. Classes are free for InCharge members and $5.00 per class for non-members.  For more information about group classes, feel free to call InCharge Fitness at 444-8138.

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80 Healthy Recipe Substitutions

  |  in Blog, General, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

If you could make your favorite foods healthier without sacrificing the delicious flavor, would you? Who wouldn’t!  Below is an article that I came across the other day that I knew would be helpful for myself and many others. Print it out and keep it in your kitchen. Below are 80 substitutions to make our favorite foods healthier.

Baking

1. Black beans for flour
Swapping out flour for a can o black beans (drained and rinsed, of course) in brownies is a great way to cut out the gluten and fit in an extra dose of protein, Plus, they taste great.

2. Whole wheat flour for white flour
In virtually any baked good, replacing white flour with whole wheat can add a whole new dimension of nutrients, flavor, and texture. Because whole wheat includes the outer shell of the grain, it also provides an extra punch of fiber, which aids in digestion and can even lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

3. Unsweetened applesauce for sugar
Using applesauce in place of sugar can give the necessary sweetness without the extra calories and, well, sugar. While one cup of unsweetened applesauce contains only about 100 calories, a cup of sugar can pack in more than 770 calories!

4. Unsweetened applesauce for oil or butter
Don’t knock this one till you’ve tried it. The applesauce gives the right consistency and a hint of sweetness without all the fat of oil or butter. This works well in any sweet bread, like banana or zucchini, or in muffins and even with pre-boxed mixes!

5. Almond flour for wheat flour
This gluten-free switch gives any baked good a dose of protein, omega-3s, and a delicious nutty flavor.

6. Avocado puree for butter
They’re both fats (albeit very different fats) and have nearly the same consistency at room temperature. The creaminess and subtle flavor of the avocado lends itself well to the texture of fudge brownies and dark chocolate flavorings. Check out this recipe for perfect proportion guidelines.

7. Brown rice cereal with flax meal for Rice Crispies
Brown puffed rice has the same texture as conventional white rice, but with half the calories. The flax adds extra fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and phytochemicals to the mix without compromising flavor!

8. Marshmallow Fluff for butter and sugar (in frosting)
Replacing the fat and sugar in frosting with marshmallow achieves the perfect consistency with many fewer calories. While two tablespoons of marshmallow has just 40 calories and 6 grams of sugar (and no fat!), the same amount of conventional frosting can pack up to 100 calories, 14 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of fat.

9. Natural peanut butter for reduced fat peanut butter
While they may appear better than traditional Skippy or Jiff, reduced fat versions of peanut butter can actually have more sugar — and an extra-long list of artificial additives— than the classics. Natural peanut butter (preferably unsalted) provides the same sweetness without call the extra junk.

10. Vanilla for sugar
Cutting sugar in half and adding a teaspoon of vanilla as a replacement can give just as much flavor with significantly fewer calories. Assuming the recipe originally calls for one cup of sugar, that’s already almost 400 calories cut out!

11. Mashed bananas for fats
The creamy, thickening-power of mashed (ripe!) banana acts the same as avocado in terms of replacing fat in baking recipes. The consistency is ideal, and the bananas add nutrients like potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6.

12. Nut flours for flour
A word of caution: Nut flours don’t rise the same way as wheat flour so an additional rising agent might be needed when replacing more than ¼ cup of wheat. Many gluten free blogs detail how to streamline nut flour-based baking. And while these flours are typically higher in calories and fat, they also have more fiber and protein.

13. Coconut flour for flour
High in fiber and low in carbohydrates, coconut flour is a great partial substitute for wheat flour in baking recipes.  Be careful, though — using more than half a cup at a time could allow the flour’s bitterness to take over. Substitutes can be tricky in baking, so when using coconut flour, be sure to add an equal amount of extra liquid!

14. Meringue for frosting
Made from just egg whites and sugar, meringue can be a great fat-free substitution for traditional frosting. Feel like going a step further? Take a torch to it. Lightly charring the edges of the meringue can add a nice caramelized flavor. (Not to mention a cool visual effect!)

15. Graham crackers for cookies (in pie crusts)
Who doesn’t love a fresh baked cookie-crust pie? Next time, refrain from the traditional sugar or Oreo cookie crust and grab the graham crackers. Reduced-fat graham crackers offer the same consistency and flavor with about half the calories of the conventional options.

16. Evaporated skim milk for cream
It’s the same consistency with a fraction of the fat. Evaporated milk tends to have a bit more sugar (only about 2 grams), but the major drop in fat content is well worth the switch.

17. Stevia for sugar
The natural sweetener stevia is lower in calories and up to 300 times sweeter than sugar. But watch the grocery bill — this fashionable sweetener can also cost up to 5 times as much as granulated sugar.

18. Prunes for butter
In brownies and other dark baked goods, minced baby prunes make for a perfect butter substitute while cutting more than half the calories and fat.

19. Cacao Nibs for chocolate chips
News flash: Those chocolate chips actually start out as cacao nibs — the roasted bits of cocoa beans that then get ground down and turned in to chocolate. Opting for these unprocessed (or at least less processed) morsels cuts out the additives and added sugar in chocolate, while also delving out a healthy dose of antioxidants.

    Stovetop

20. Brown rice for white rice
When white rice is processed, the “brown” bran layer gets stripped away, cutting out essential nutrients (like fiber). Opt for brown rice for a fuller nutritional profile.

21. Quinoa for couscous
While couscous is made from processed wheat flour, quinoa is a whole-grain superfood packed with protein and nutrients. Bonus points: They have almost the exact same texture.

22. Zucchini ribbons for pasta
Thin strips or ribbons of zucchini are a great stand in for carb-packed pastas. Plus, it’s one excuse to skip the boiling — simply sautee for a few minutes until soft.

23. Olive oil for butter
When cooking eggs, this simple switch is a great way to cut down on saturated fats while getting a healthy dose of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

24. Turnip mash for mashed potatoes
While one cup of mashed potatoes made with whole milk racks up about 180 calories (and that’s before the inevitable salt and butter), a cup of mashed turnip (which doesn’t need milk or butter to get that creamy consistency) has only 51 calories. Add some fresh herbs in place of the salt and it’s a much healthier stand-in for classic mash.

25. Grated steamed cauliflower for rice
Cut both calories and carbs with this simple switch. The texture is virtually the same, as is the taste.

26. Mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes
Just like the turnip mash, mashed cauliflower has only a fraction of the calories of potatoes and it’s nearly impossible to taste the difference. Got picky eaters at the table? Try mixing half potato, half cauliflower.

27. Rolled oats for breadcrumbs
While breadcrumbs can pack extra sodium, using rolled oats seasoned with herbs is a great way to sneak another whole grain into any meal.

28. Dry beans for canned beans
Canned beans are convenient, sure, but they also tend to have excess sodium and plenty of preservatives. Plus, even though the canned versions are dirt cheap, dried beans are even cheaper! It may take a little more work (just some simple soaking and boiling), but this switch is still well worth it.

29. Prosciutto or pancetta for bacon
Bacon is often the go-to for that smoky flavor in savory dishes (and even in some sweet ones). But opting for a few slices of prosciutto or pancetta can help cut both calories and fat. While bacon has about 70 calories and 6 grams of fat for two slices, prosciutto has just 30 calories and 4 grams in an equally weighted sample.

30. Two egg whites for one whole egg
One egg yolk holds more than half the recommended daily cholesterol for the average adult. Trading out the yolk for a second white will cut out the cholesterol while doubling the protein. If making a dish that requires more eggs, keep one to two yolks for their rich vitamins A, E, D, and K content, but consider swapping out the rest.

31. Whole wheat pasta for regular pasta
Just as with bread, whole wheat pasta beats regular with a higher fiber content and about 50 fewer calories per serving (depending on the brand).

32. Crushed flax or fiber cereal for bread crumbs
Crushing a fiber-rich cereal and mixing it with some herbs makes an easy lower-sodium substitution for traditional breadcrumbs.

33. White-meat, skinless poultry for dark-meat poultry
The biggest chicken debate to date: white meat vs. dark meat. And the white meat has it beat — lower in calories and fat, higher in protein and iron.

34. Olive oil spray for olive oil from the bottle
Oil glugs out of the bottle, leading to overly-greasy dishes. Using a spray bottle is a great way to cut down on oil while still getting the non-stick benefits. A little mist is all that’s needed!

35. Egg Beaters for egg yolks
A solid substitution for many egg dishes (like omelets or frittatas) — and even for something more complicated, like Hollandaise sauce.

36. Bison for beef
Higher in B vitamins and lower in fat, bison is a great substitute for the ol’ beefy standard. (When available, of course.)

37. Ground Turkey for ground beef
Ground turkey (or chicken) is a great substitute for ground beef to cut down on saturated fat and calories. Reminder: Because of the lower fat content, ground poultry often ends up drier than beef, but a few tablespoons of chicken stock can solve the problem in a snap!

38. Quinoa and ground turkey for rice and ground beef (in stuffed peppers)
More protein and antioxidants in the quinoa and less fat in the ground turkey make this an all-around healthier option for this popular side dish.

39. Coconut milk for cream
Coconut milk is a great substitute for heavy cream in soups and stews. And don’t be turned off by the word “coconut” — it doesn’t taste like the sweetened shredded kind!

40. Spaghetti squash for pasta
Roasted and pulled apart with a fork, spaghetti squash is a great low-carb and lower-calorie substitute for pasta.

   Meals

41. Greek yogurt for sour cream
Half the fat and calories, yet the taste and texture are virtually identical. Plus, nonfat Greek yogurt offers an extra dose of lean protein.

42. Arugula, romaine, spinach, and/or kale for iceberg lettuce
All greens are not created equal. Darker greens usually mean more nutrients like iron, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Sorry, iceberg’s just not cutting it anymore — go out and get some grown-up greens.

43. Pita for bread
One 4-inch whole-wheat pita runs around 80 calories and only 1 gram of fat (though there is some variation from brand to brand). Two slices of whole-wheat bread typically comes in at around 138 calories!

44. Greek yogurt for mayo (in tuna/chicken salad)
Add some herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice, and they’ll taste almost identical. Plus, this swap will save on calories and fat, and provide an extra dose of protein.

45. Plain yogurt with fresh fruit for flavored yogurt
Pre-flavored yogurts often come packed with extra sugar. To skip the sugar rush without sacrificing flavor, opt for plain yogurt (or better yet, plain Greek yogurt) and add fresh fruit and/or honey or agave for a hint of sweetness.

46. Nutritional yeast for cheese
The taste and texture are a little bit different, but the creamy gooiness is pretty comparable. Instead of topping that taco with cheddar, try a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavoring with much  less fat.

47. Lettuce leaves for tortilla wraps
It’s not a perfect swap, but forgoing the carbs for fresh lettuce is a fun (and easy) switch that can lighten up any wrap or taco dish.

48. Corn tortilla for flour tortilla
Half the calories and fat. ‘Nuff said.

49. Nuts for croutons (in salads)
Every salad needs that extra crunch. But rather than getting the extra carbs (and often fat and sodium) that come with croutons, try some lightly toasted slivered almonds, pecans, or walnuts.

50. Whole wheat bread for white bread
You’ve heard it all before, but it’s just that important! Whole-grain wheat beats out processed white with a complete nutrition profile and better flavor and texture.

51. Avocado mash for mayo
Half a mashed avocado is a great substitute for mayo on any sandwich. Both give some moisture, but avocado packs a big dose of vitamin E and cholesterol-checking monosaturated fat. And while a typical two-tablespoon serving of mayonnaise has about 206 calories and 24 grams of fat, half an avocado has only 114 calories and 10.5 grams of fat.

52. Sliced tomatoes for tomato sauce (on pizza)
Cut out the extra sodium, sugar, and preservatives by replacing jarred tomato sauce with fresh sliced tomatoes. The texture is a bit different, but the flavor is much more vibrant and fresh!

53. Frozen or Fresh Fruits for canned fruit
Cut down on excess sugar and preservatives by choosing fresh or flash-frozen varieties.

   Snacks

54. Veggies for pita (as a dipping tool)
Forget the pita. Fresh veggies work as killer dippers with hummus and contain both fewer carbs and more vitamins.

55. Cauliflower puree for egg yolks (in deviled eggs)
For that devilish Southern favorite — deviled eggs — try replacing half the yolks in the filling with cauliflower puree. The taste remains the same, as does the texture, but without the extra dose of cholesterol.

56. Quinoa for oatmeal
Cooked with milk (cow, almond, hemp — whatever’s on hand) and some cinnamon, quinoa makes a perfect protein-packed hot breakfast.

57. Edamame hummus for regular hummus
While hummus might look innocent from the sidelines, it’s on our list of potential dangerfoods, packed with more than 50 calories in two tablespoons. That’s why switching to an edamame-based hummus can help reduce the danger (read: fat and calories) while still providing a delicious dip.

58. Kale chips for potato chips
Who would’ve guessed that a leafy green could make such delicious chips? When lightly tossed in olive oil and some seasoning (salt and pepper, paprika, or chili powder work well) and baked, these curly greens turn into a delightfully delicate crunchy snack with less fat than the classic fried potato chip.

59. Dark chocolate for M&Ms (in trail mix)
The problem with most trail mixes? They pack in the sugar-filled, candy-coated chocolate and dried fruit. Instead, make your own trail mix with unsalted nuts and dark chocolate bits (lower in sugar), which are high in free-radical-fighting flavonoids — a benefit that completely outweighs that candy-coated sweetness.

60. Popcorn for potato chips
Lower in calories and fat, natural popcorn without pre-flavored seasonings is a great snack alternative to replace those oily, super-salty potato chips. Try made-at-home flavors by adding cinnamon, chili powder, or Parmesan.

61. Steel-cut oatmeal for instant oatmeal
Chewy and a little crunchy, these guys are nothing like their instant oatmeal cousins. While rolled oats are — literally — rolled into a flat grain, steel cut oats are diced whole grains that maintain more of their fiber-rich shell. Rich in B vitamins, calcium, and protein, steel-cut oats also lack the added sugar that often comes with instant varieties.

62. Banana ice cream for ice cream
No milk, no cream, no sugar… but the same, delicious consistency. It’s simple: freeze bananas, then puree.

63. Sweet potato fries for French fries
Opting for sweet potatoes rather than the traditional white adds an extra dose of fiber, and vitamins A, C, and B6. Plus, it cuts out roughly 20 grams of carbohydrates per one-cup serving. Just don’t overdo it!

64. Frozen Yogurt for Ice Cream
Picking frozen yogurt over ice cream can help cut down fat content!

   Seasoning

65. Low-fat cottage cheese for sour cream
They both add a creamy texture to many dishes, but sour cream is packed with fat while low-fat cottage cheese is packed with protein.

66. Pureed fruit for syrup
Both sweeten flapjacks or a nice whole-wheat waffle, but pureed fruit warmed on the stovetop with a bit of honey packs much less sugar than classic maple. Plus, it provides an extra dose of antioxidants and vitamins.

67. Herbs or citrus juice for salt
You heard it here first: Food doesn’t need to be salted to taste good! Fresh herbs and citrus juice can provide just as much flavor without the added risks of excess sodium intake.

68. Garlic powder for salt
Just like fresh herbs, garlic powder can provide a flavorful-punch without adding sodium. A word of warning, though: don’t mistake garlic powder for garlic salt.

69. Low-sodium soy sauce for standard soy sauce
The taste is virtually the same, but choosing a low- or reduced-sodium variety can cut down sodium intake by nearly half.

70. Homemade salad dressing for bottled dressing
By making dressing from scratch at home, it’s easy to cut out the added sugar, sodium, and preservatives typically found in pre-made dressings. Try mixing vinegar or lemon juice and oil in a 2:1 ratio and flavoring with spices like rosemary, thyme, oregano, and pepper!

  Drinks

71.  Seltzer water with citrus slice instead of soda
Instead of sugary sodas, opt for a glass of sparkling water with a few slices of citrus — grapefruit, lime, orange, and lemon all work well — for a little extra flavor.

72. Skim milk for whole or 2% milk
Fewer calories and fat with the same amount of protein makes this switch well worth it.

73. Cinnamon for cream and sugar (in coffee)
Cutting out the cream and sugar in favor of a sprinkle of cinnamon can cut up to 70 calories per cup. Plus, cinnamon can boost metabolism.

74. Unsweetened iced tea for juice or bottled teas
While delicious and convenient, bottled teas, juices, and sports drinks are packed with sugar and calories. When in the mood for something icy with a little flavor, opt for a home-brewed, unsweetened iced tea.

75. Americano for latte
Just by cutting the milk out of that daily latte in favor of hot water, the calorie count drops by more than 150. It’s a smart switch, especially by the fourth or fifth cup.

   Alcohol

76. Red wine for white wine
While white wine is usually lower in calories, red offers health benefits unmatched by the white stuff, including cancer-fighting compounds and natural cholesterol checks.

77. Soda water for juice (as a mixer)
Rum and coke. Cranberry and vodka. Sure, these sugary mixers take care of the inner sweet tooth. But try mixing liquor with soda water and a slice of fruit (or even just a splash of juice) and down goes the sugar (and calorie) count. Not inventive enough? Check out these 60 healthier cocktails.

78. Soda water for tonic water
Yes, it’s clear and bubbly, just like soda water, but tonic water is actually full of sugar. Adding plain soda water and a pinch of lime gives almost the same taste with 32 grams less sugar per 12 ounces.

 Cooking Methods

79. Oven or pan-frying for deep frying
Yes, those chicken tenders are deliciously greasy, but by foregoing the oil bath for just a misting of oil in a pan or oven, it’s easy to cut fat without sacrificing flavor.

80. Steaming for boiling
While both are great options for meats and veggies, steaming is king because it removes fewer nutrients from vegetables. While boiling can leech out some of the better nutrients (hence why water turns green after boiling broccoli), steaming keeps all that green goodness inside the veggies.

Source: http://greatist.com/health/healthy-recipe-substitutions/

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13 Quick and Healthy Breakfasts

  |  in Blog, General, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

We’ve all heard the familiar phrase, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and this couldn’t be more accurate. Not only does a healthy breakfast provide you with energy to tackle your busy day, it can actually help you lose weight. Studies have shown that people who regularly eat breakfast actually weigh less.

Additionally, eating breakfast may also help you live longer. The one thing that centenarians have in common is that they all eat breakfast every day. Pretty convincing data to persuade all of us to eat a breakfast of champions!

Components of a Healthy Breakfast

The first thing to focus on when building a healthy breakfast is balance. Try to incorporate at least three different food groups into your breakfast meal. In keeping with the rule of three, also opt for three important hunger-crushing nutrients in the first meal of your day–protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber.

Simple, Fast Breakfast Ideas

1. Whole-wheat English muffin or toast, topped with fat-free cream cheese and strawberry slices.

2. Omelet made with one whole egg and two egg whites, chopped veggies, reduced-fat or fat-free shredded cheese, and a piece of fruit to keep it well-balanced.

3. Whole-grain waffles topped with one tablespoon of peanut butter (or other nut butter) and sliced bananas.

4. Whole-wheat tortilla, scrambled eggs (one whole egg, two egg whites), and a handful of grapes.

5. Whole-wheat pita bread with a slice of reduced-fat cheese melted on the inside and an orange.

6. Fruit and yogurt parfaits: nonfat plain or flavored yogurt (aim for a lower-sugar version of the flavored varieties), whole-grain cereal, and sliced fruit.

7. Low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese with cut-up fruit or vegetables and whole-grain crackers.

8. Oatmeal made with milk or non-dairy milk alternative, with dried fruit and nuts.

Nutritious Grab-and-Go Breakfasts

9. Low-sugar whole-grain granola bar and a piece of fruit that’s easy to eat on the go (think apples, bananas, pears or grapes).

10. Ham or turkey and cheese sandwich with some cut-up carrots.

11. Peanut butter (or other nut butter) and sliced banana sandwich.

12. Light string cheese and dried fruit.

13. Homemade trail mix (whole-grain cereal, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, etc.).

Keeping It Simple

People often make excuses for why they can’t eat breakfast. Many say they’re too busy in the morning to prepare a well-balanced meal. Others say they simply aren’t hungry in the morning. Some even say that they can’t think of anything other than the basic cereal and milk meal to start their days off right. All it takes is a little planning and you’ll be on the road to breakfast success.

Start off small by trying to at least eat something–anything–in the morning. Plan and prepare your breakfast the night before or wake up about ten minutes earlier to ensure ample time to throw together a healthy morning meal.

Also, to avoid not being hungry enough to want to eat breakfast in the morning, try eating your dinner several hours earlier the night before, and don’t snack too heavily before bedtime. This will prime your body to want to eat breakfast.

Source: www.fitday.com

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Group Classes at InCharge Fitness!

  |  in Blog, General, News, Upcoming EventsNo Comments

InCharge Fitness now offers group classes. Classes will be beginning the week of Sept. 10th and are free to InCharge members and $5.00 per class for participants who are not members. We have teamed up with some AWESOME and FUN instructors who are sure to give you a great workout. Check out our schedule below and we hope you can join us!

Week Day Class Time Instructor  
Mondays Cardio Kick, Step & Tone 5:30 – 6:30PM Melanie Schmidt  
Tuesdays Bootcamp 6:00 – 7:00PM Susan Bruno  
Wednesdays Total Toning 5:30 – 6:30PM Melanie Schmidt  
Thursdays Circuit Training 5:30 – 6:30PM InCharge Staff  
Saturdays Cardio Kick, Step & Tone 8:00 – 9:00AM Melanie Schmidt  
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5 Ways to Become a Morning Exerciser

  |  in Blog, Exercises, General, Motivational TipsNo Comments

Let’s face it. No one likes an early wake up call. Even if your alarm is set for a flight to your vacation destination, the warm covers are still going to sound more appealing when you’re in that sleepy state. Most of the time, it’s not that you’re dreading the workout, you’re dreading getting out of bed!

Why should you exercise in the morning? Well, first off, it jump starts your metabolism for the day. You’ll continue to burn calories for the remainder of the day. Plus you’re more likely to be consistent with exercising. You may have a hectic schedule one day and not be able to fit in that evening workout. If you completed it in the morning, it’s already over!

You’ll probably never love it (or who knows, maybe you will), but these simple steps will make it a little bit easier to get out of bed and break a sweat. It may seem hard at first, but your body will eventually adjust to it.

1. Prepare the Night Before
Set your clothes out so that you can change as soon as you wake up. Fill your water bottle; lay out your mp3 player, towel, and whatever else you might take to the gym. That way, you can be out the door quickly. If you’re working out at home, set up your mat and props.

2. Let Yourself Wake-Up Slowly
Snooze if you have to. Sometimes your body just needs to acclimate itself instead of hopping right out of bed. Enjoy a cup of coffee or read for 10 minutes. If you feel forced to wake up immediately, you’re going to resent it even more. Your body will let you know when it’s ready to get moving!

3. Get Outside
Go for a walk or run outdoors for a change. Knowing that you’ll get some fresh air and different scenery should help motivate you to wake up. Plus, if you typically go outside, you’ll want to wake up earlier to beat the summer heat!

4. Try Something Different
Find a new workout or a new playlist. Buy a new workout top. Sometimes all you need is a change of pace to jumpstart your excitement.

5. Think About the Alternative
You may want to become a morning exerciser because you can’t fathom the thought of working out after a long day at the office. When your alarm goes off in the morning, think about how good you’ll feel all day knowing that your exercise for the day is already complete! Think about how great you’ll feel when you can go straight home after work.

As mentioned above, it’s really all in the mind. On enough sleep, your body can exercise in the morning. You just need to tell yourself that once you are up and moving, you’ll feel awake and rejuvenated. Maybe you don’t always need to exercise in the morning, but you can switch it up daily based on how you feel.

To Happy, Healthy Living!
InCharge Fitness Team

Source: www.fitday.com

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Coconut Chicken Salad with Warm Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

  |  in Blog, General, Healthy RecipesNo Comments

Warm oven-fried coconut chicken over a bed of baby greens, cucumber, tomato, shredded carrots topped with a hot honey mustard vinaigrette. It’s the perfect mix of salty and sweet, warm and cold.

This salad has plenty of protein to keep you satisfied. Serve this for lunch or dinner; use any combination of salad fixins’ and dig in!

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 (about 12 oz) chicken tenderloins
  • 6 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup panko crumbs
  • 2 tbsp crushed cornflake crumbs
  • 1/3 cup egg substitute or egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • olive oil spray
  • 6 cups mixed baby greens
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced

Vinaigrette

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar (balsamic would work too)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard

Directions:
Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients; set aside. Preheat oven to 375°. Combine coconut flakes, panko, cornflake crumbs and salt in a bowl. Put egg whites or egg beaters in another bowl.

Lightly season chicken with salt. Dip the chicken in the egg, then in the coconut crumb mixture. Place chicken on a cookie sheet lined with parchment for easy cleanup. Lightly spray with olive oil spray and bake for 30 minutes turning halfway, or until chicken is cooked through.

Place 2 cups baby greens on each plate. Divide carrots, cucumber, tomato evenly between each plate. When chicken is ready slice on the diagonal and place on top of greens. Heat dressing in the microwave a few seconds and divide equally between each salad; a little over 1 tbsp each. Enjoy!

Servings: 3 • Serving Size: salad with 2 chicken tenders
Points: 8 pts • Points+: 8 pts Calories: 397.6 • Fat: 11.0 g • Protein: 26.8 g • Carb: 32.5 g • Fiber: 4.4 g Sugar: 10

Source: www.skinnytaste.com

 

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Grilled Potatoes

  |  in Blog, General, Healthy RecipesNo Comments

Guilt-free crispy grilled “fries” made right outside on the grill!

These fries turn out crispy and delicious without deep frying or heating up the kitchen and you can even grill your turkey burgers along side them.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (13 oz total) medium russet potatoes, washed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

Directions:

Preheat
grill to medium-high heat.

Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch thick slices. I used a fancy crinkle knife with ridges but straight cuts are fine. Toss the potatoes with olive oil. Add salt, and pepper to your taste.

Reduce heat on the grill to medium and lay the potatoes slices straight onto the grill; close the lid. Cook until the potatoes are golden on one side, about 6 to 10 minutes, making sure they don’t burn and adjusting flame accordingly. Turn and cook until tender inside when pierced with a fork, but slightly crisp and golden brown on the outside. Remove from grill, and serve immediately.

Grilled Potatoes
www.skinnytaste.com
Servings: 2 • Size: 1 potato Calories: 172.4 • Fat: 4.8 g • Protein: 3.5 g • Carb: 29.3 g • Fiber: 3.1 g • Sugar: 1.8 g
Sodium: 11.1 mg  (without salt)

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Science Behind “The Biggest Loser” Diet

  |  in Blog, General, Motivational TipsNo Comments

This is an article that I found on a Registered Dietitian’s blog. Her name is Rebecca Scritchfield, a weight management expert on balanced, healthy living. I thought it was an interesting read. Enjoy!  

 

I’m hooked on “The Biggest Loser”. Maybe it’s because I get to watch lives being transformed and new behaviors shaped. Or maybe it’s because I feel gratified that these changes are a result of improvements in nutrition and exercise, areas in which I have expertise, rather than the promise of a fad diet, magic pills or surgery as a solution. But I was always so curious about what goes on behind the scenes. So you can imagine my excitement when I had the opportunity to learn from the registered dietitian and physician for the show at a recent conference.

First off, they both admitted upfront that one of the reasons the people lose so much weight consistently is because of their new environment. All the barriers that usually exist to behavior change (job/life stresses, family and friends, lack of time, lack of knowledge about what to do) have been removed. Their new job is to exercise, learn about good nutrition habits, and practice them. This is one of the keys to their success. They get enough time in the new environment that once they leave they have enough knowledge and motivation to keep it going… Essentially, they transform their lifestyle. That said, “Biggest Loser” success is within everyone’s reach. Read on to find out more!

Biggest Loser Diet

  • modified, low carbohydrate diet 45% of calories from carbohydrates (mostly fruits, vegetables and some whole grains), 30% of calories from protein, and 25% of calories from healthy fats or oils (seeds, nuts, avocado, olive oil)
  • no “white stuff”
  • whole foods, elemental ingredients
  • 4-3-2-1: daily 4 cups minimum of fruits and vegetables, 3 servings of healthy proteins (e.g. fish, skinless chicken breast, 93% lean ground turkey), 2 servings of whole grains, and 1 serving of healthy fat.
  • Aim for everyone to have 1 serving of fish daily.
  • There is room for 1 optional treat per day.
  • Cereals must have minimum 5 grams of fiber per serving and less than 5 grams of sugar per serving. This limits the cereals to certain oatmeals, bran cereals, or other high fiber cereals on the market.
  • Goal of 7 calories per pound of body weight for daily caloric intake. This is recalculated after significant weight loss.

Participants are provided with calorie counting resources and a food and exercise diary which they must maintain daily. This helps to raise awareness of past behaviors and develops an understanding for calorie balance through diet and exercise.

Their diets are analyzed daily by the show’s registered dietitian / nutritionist. The nutritionist reported a 70% adherence to the diet. The nutritionist also reported as a result of the diet contestents experience decreased risk for diabetes because the measure that is used to diagnose diabetes decreases from “at risk” to a healthy range.

Biggest Loser Exercise

  • Goal is 7 hours per week of exercise
  • Incorporate weight training, coaching, teamwork, and competition

Typical Week at the Ranch

  • Before getting started, participants undergo extensive medical tests, including a physical, stress test, DEXA (to measure accurately percent body fat and lean mass), and “Bod Pod” (to measure resting metabolic rate)
  • Participants also undergo psychological evaluation and the support network at home is briefed on the program so they know what to expect when the person returns home.
  • All participants get a full nutrition consult, including a week of food journals review. They discuss any GI symptoms they are having. They discuss eating schedules and cooking and shopping strategies.

Common Denominators

In 3 seasons, they found the contestants shared many characteristics, including:

  • no idea of the number of calories they need or what they actually consume
  • most skip breakfast and snacks and let a long time go between meals
  • most consume very little fruits and vegetables
  • most are not getting enough protein, and what they do get is high in saturated fat
  • most get very little whole grains
  • most have too much “white stuff” (sugar, refined flour)
  • little planning of meals, mostly on-the-go eating and dining out
  • most are meeting their daily caloric needs through beverages alone (e.g. caloric sodas, juices and fruit punch)
  • many consume very little water
  • nearly all reported limited to no exercise
  • nearly all prioritize everything and everyone else in their life ahead of their own health

I found the common denominators particularly insightful. It is easy to see why they are struggling with their weight when you look at behaviors they have in common. The goal of the Biggest Loser is to restructure that lifestyle and get them on the path to better health and wellness.

Source: http://rebeccascritchfield.wordpress.com/2007/10/15/science-behind-the-biggest-loser-diet/

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Blueberry and Chicken Salad

  |  in Blog, General, Healthy RecipesNo Comments

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, divided
  • ¾ cup low-fat lemon yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-calorie mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts
  • ½ cup sliced green onions (scallions)
  • ¾ cup diagonally sliced celery

Instructions

  1. Reserve a few blueberries for garnish
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine yogurt, mayonnaise and salt
  3. Add the remaining blueberries, chicken, green onions, celery and bell pepper
  4. Mix gently
  5. Cover and refrigerate to let flavors blend, at least 30 minutes
  6. Serve over endive or other greens garnished with reserved blueberries and lemon slices, if desired

Let the grocery store do the cooking. Pick up a rotisserie chicken and take advantage of the berry season. This is a great choice for a quick and healthy summer lunch. You can make it ahead and enjoy all work-week. Add in more nutrition with spinach or arugula, and also add a whole wheat wrap or pita. Enjoy!

Source: http://rebeccascritchfield.wordpress.com/page/3/

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