The Warm Weather Guide to Healthier Eating

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Looking for new, inventive ways to improve your eating habits? Warm weather can help you create better nutritional habits. From longer days to seasonal produce, the next few months are a great time to make your diet reach new heights.

Even though it’s typically the smallest meal of the day, breakfast is the most important one because it sets the tone for the entire day. What you eat, or do not eat, will determine how much you eat for lunch, dinner and snacks. If you skip breakfast, you become more likely to binge at lunch and load up on unneeded calories. So how can the pleasant weather help with eating breakfast?

Set up a system with Mother Nature’s virtues as the backbone. Now that the sun is out and the temperature is nice when you wake up, eat breakfast outside every morning. Pick a place – your porch, deck or favorite chair – and take 10 to 15 minutes to eat and enjoy. No need for eggs, bacon and all the fixins; cereal with skim milk, a whole-wheat bagel with low-fat cream cheese or a fruit smoothie is all you need to start the day right.

This is a trouble meal for two reasons: 1. If you eat at a restaurant, it’s hard to control portion sizes, 2. It’s usually followed by sitting at a desk for the next several hours. This equates to consuming a lot of calories without burning any in return. A few more problems with a typical lunch out:

  • Lack of whole grains (mostly white bread, white pasta and white rice)
  • Few fruits and vegetables
  • Danger foods (French fries, fattening condiments)

The solution? Pack your lunch. You can control the portions, add fruits and veggies, make sure all of your carbohydrates are complex and avoid unhealthy snacks and sweets. Now about burning some of those calories, again take advantage of the warmer weather and eat away from the office. If you choose a spot that’s a 10-minute walk away, you’ll burn 120 calories just by walking there and back.

Still unsure? Do you usually eat lunch with work buddies? Bring them along! Make a lunch team where everyone packs their lunches and heads out of the office to eat. Better yet, each person on the team could make a healthy, big batch of food once a week for the rest of team, so every day is a different, healthy lunch. Everyone wins.

Keep taking advantage of the longer days and fire up that grill. Grilling out has all of the good foods that come with hitting up the drive-thru; they’re just healthier versions. You can have a burger if you’d like, or go with healthier foods such as chicken or fish. You eliminate a lot of the grease that comes with frying. But who said to stop with meat? Add some veggies to the mix. Throw on a few ears of corn, or cut up and skewer some peppers, onions and tomatoes. Cooking on the grill will take up the same time as the drive-thru, and it’s cheaper, too.

Other tips:
From the flowers blooming in your garden to the vegetables for sale at the farmers market, bright colors abound during summer. Spread that variety to your diet with a healthy dose of different-colored fruits and vegetables. The food will taste great, and the presentation will be more lively.

  • Orange – oranges, peppers, carrots, peaches
  • Yellow – apples, peppers, bananas, corn
  • Red – apples, peppers, tomatoes, strawberries
  • Purple – blueberries, grapes
  • Green – peppers, kiwi, broccoli, peas, leafy greens
  • White – cauliflower, water chestnuts

Eliminating soda has enormous benefits to your diet. Replacing it with water would be preferable, but if you really crave that sweet taste in your drink, go for the spring and summertime favorite, unsweetened iced tea. It will quench your thirst on a hot day for fewer calories and less caffeine than soda. Or, give water a shot, but slice up a cucumber, lemon, lime or orange and drop the pieces in a pitcher to add some refreshing flavor.

Here’s to summer!<!–
Article created on:  4/2/2004


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National Watermelon Day!

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Today, August 3rd, 2011, is National Watermelon Day! Watermelon is a delicious fruit that is great to snack on. Watermelon is 92% water, and has many beneficial qualities:

  • Vitamin A found in watermelon is important for optimal eye health, can help prevent night-blindness, and boosts immunity by enhancing the infection-fighting actions of white blood cells called lymphocytes.
  • Vitamin B6 found in watermelon helps the immune system produce antibodies. Antibodies are needed to fight many diseases. Vitamin B6 helps maintain normal nerve function and form red blood cells. The body uses it to help break down proteins. The more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 you need.
  • Vitamin C in watermelon can help to bolster the immune system’s defenses against infections and viruses and can protect a body from harmful free radicals that can accelerate aging and conditions such as cataracts.
  • A two-cup serving of watermelon is also a source of potassium*, a mineral necessary for water balance and found inside of every cell. People with low potassium levels can experience muscle cramps.

Get Hydrated with Watermelon!

It’s no coincidence that the word water appears in watermelon. Thirst quenching watermelon can help to replenish body fluids: one cup of diced watermelon is about 92% water. Water is the most vital nutrient for life– over two-thirds of your body is made up of water.

Along with drinking plenty of water, eating watermelon will help to provide you with liquids your body needs for optimum health. Try refreshing watermelon juice, which is now sold in some supermarkets.

Or you can easily make watermelon juice yourself: Slice a chilled watermelon into 2 inch slices and place in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Press through a fine sieve, strain and discard seeds and pulp, pour the juice into a pitcher, chill and serve cold.

Watermelon and Weight Management:

With more than 60% of adults overweight or obese, over 97 million Americans are at risk to a host of chronic diseases. If you are trying to control your weight, watermelon is perfect because it has only 80 calories, no fat at all, and is full of satisfying flavor and important nutrients. A healthy food, 2 cups of watermelon chunks contain 25% of your daily vitamin A and 30% of your daily vitamin C. Watermelon also contains B6 (6%) as well as potassium (8%), phosphorus (4%) and magnesium (8%).
Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories and fat; many contain lots of water and fiber to give you a feeling of fullness. Combined with an active lifestyle and low-fat diet, eating greater amounts of fruits and vegetables and fewer high-calorie foods at meals can help you control your weight.

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How To Decrease Body Fat

  |  in General, Motivational Tips, News, Nutrition Tips, ServicesNo Comments

How to Reduce Body Fat Percentage in 12 Steps

1.  Build more muscle. One of the best ways to reduce body fat is weight training. As you increase lean muscle mass you burn more calories.

2.  Eat for great health. When you eat for great health you’re making sure to have the necessary energy to exercise and enjoy your life.

3.  Avoid refined carbs. Sugar and other refined carbohydrates, zap your energy, ruin your health and contribute to excess body fat. Stick with whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and other high fiber food.

4.  Enjoy your protein. To make sure you reduce fat and not muscle when losing weight, it’s essential to get enough protein. Use low calorie high protein shakes for mini meals. And have fun adding fruit or flavorings.

5.  Drink more water. As you up your water intake to at least 8 glasses a day, the less hungry and more refreshed you’ll feel.
6.  Increase activity. If you’re eating less calories, low impact physical activity, like walking, swimming and yoga for at least 30 minutes a day, burns fat, builds a strong lean body and helps boost metabolism activity.
7.  Know your calories. When we eat unconsciously, calories start adding up. Make sure you’re not storing up more than you burn for energy.

8.  Have 4-6 mini meals. Instead of 3 big meals a day, go for 4 to 6 small meals. It helps increase metabolism and burn extra calories.

9.   Eat more veggies. Most plain vegetables are so low in calories and so high in fiber content that it’s almost like you’ve eaten no calories at all.

10.  Eliminate sodas. Sodas are bad for your health and add unnecessary calories. Learn to love drinking pure, clean, calorie-free water.
11.  Enjoy other pleasures. Whenever possible, indulge in simple healthy activities that you enjoy (besides eating). Make a list and have fun.

12.  Get much stronger. Strength training improves flexibility, increases fitness, strengthens joints and bones, builds muscle and helps reduce fat.

Now that you know how to reduce body fat percentage, the rest is up to you. Just add one step at a time and increase your pace slow and easy.

Come in and talk to Alisha or Amy at InCharge to discuss how YOU can decrease your percentage of body fat.

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Heat Illnesses

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While exercising this summer, it is very important to be aware of heat illnesses and what the symptoms are. Staying hydrated and wearing weather appropriate clothing will help decrease your risk of suffering from one of these illnesses.

Here are a few heat illnesses to watch for while exercising in the summer heat. Also, be aware if you travel somewhere and exercise. The climate differences can be severe, and if you are unacclimatized you may be more prone to these illnesses.

Heat Exhaustion:

  • Diagnosis – Inability to continue exercise in the heat. Body temperature approximately at 102 degrees F. Sweating is profuse. Mental function and thermoregulation are mildly impaired
  • Treatment – Rest and cooling increase venous blood flow to the heart. Replace fluids to body by hydrating with plenty of water.

Exertional Heatstroke:

  • Diagnosis – Thermoregulatory overload or failure. Body temperature approximately at 104 degrees F or higher. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, coma, convulsions, and impairment of mental function and temperature regulation. Sweating may or may not be present. Onset may be rapid in patients who have been exercising.
  • Treatment – This is a true medical emergency. Water immersion provides the fastest cooling rate, and also improves venous return to the heart.

Heat Cramps:

  • Diagnosis – Associated with whole body salt deficiency. Cramps occur in the abdominal and large muscles of the extremities.
  • Treatment – Drink 1/3 tsp. table salt in 1 L of water. If symptoms such as nausea and vomiting occur, consider seeking emergency care where they can use IV solutions.

Heat Syncope:

  • Diagnosis – Brief fainting spell without a significant increase in body temperature. Pale skin is obvious. Pulse and breathing rates are slow. Presyncope warning signals include weakness, vertigo, nausea, or tunnel vision.
  • Treatment – Lay the person in the shade and elevate feet above the level of the head. Replace fluid and salt losses. Avoid sudden or prolonged standing.

Armstrong LE. (2000). Performing in Extreme Environments.
Pages 39-40. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. ISBN: 0-88011-837-7

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EXERCISE! It’s for your health!

  |  in General, Motivational TipsNo Comments

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10 Tips for Successful Meal Planning

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  1. Just get started! Any plan, regardless of how good or bad it is, is better than having no plan at all. Have a list of meals on your fridge so you don’t find yourself scrambling at 4PM wondering what will be for dinner. It’s a lot easier planning the week’s meals on a lazy Sunday than the day of.
  2. Review the week’s sales flyers. Planning your meals around those items will really help make your grocery trip more cost effective! If the local grocery store is having a sale on chicken breast, put chicken parmesan on the menu. Reviewing the flyers helps ensure you take full advantage of your store’s sales cycle.
  3. Start your shopping list during the week by writing down items you need. Keep a tally of the things you need so you won’t forget them on shopping day.
  4. Shop around the edge of the store. These tend to be the fresher, less processed items. It’ll save you some money and you’ll have better nutritional options in those areas. There are healthy options all throughout the store, but they tend to concentrate on the edge of the store.
  5. Don’t bring your kids if you can help it. Grocery stores are designed to appeal to children, they keep all the sugary cereals and all the sweets at their eye level so they can beg and plead for them. If you can help it, and we know it’s not always easy, try to go without them.
  6. Keep your normal meals and create new meals by tweaking ingredients a bit. With pasta, for example, buy whole wheat instead. When thinking about rolls or biscuits, try making your own using whole wheat flour.
  7. Cook ahead of time. Whether you make a couple of meals to freeze for busy nights or just make extra to freeze half, it’s wonderful to know there is a home cooked meal sitting in the fridge or freezer. It’s a lot easier to defrost and/or stick something into the oven than to make a meal entirely from scratch! Another tip, make four loaves of bread at a time to freeze so that you could save money in that way.
  8. Do what you can ahead of time. This kind of sounds like the one above, but here we are talking about the daily preparation. For example, if you are having vegetable medley roast with steak, wash and cut the vegetables in the morning and marinate the steak so that everything is ready to go into the oven that evening. You might be much more motivated in the morning and then you don’t have to think about it all day.
  9. Use leftovers! Whether you rethink them and use them to create a new meal or just eat the same thing twice, this saves so much money! We recommend that you even write leftovers into your meal plan each week. If you hate eating leftovers, but often have food leftover from your meal, just start making less at each meal. This way, it’s helping the environment as well as your pocket book. Learn how much your family really eats.
  10. Have fun and keep it flexible! A meal plan is supposed to be helpful to a simple and peaceful home, not an extra burden.

Source: Jamie Ussher

To Happy, Healthy Living!

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Bicycle Crunch

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Bicycle Crunch – A great exercise for your abs!

  1. Lie on the floor and lace your fingers behind your head.
  2. Bring the knees in towards the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the floor without pulling on the neck.
  3. Straighten the left leg out while simultaneously turning the upper body to the right, taking the left elbow towards the right knee.
  4. Switch sides, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee.
  5. Continue alternating sides in a ‘pedaling’ motion for 1-3 sets of 12-16 reps.
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Keep Your Veggies Fresh Longer

  |  in Blog, General, Nutrition TipsNo Comments

It is often hard to keep those delicious summer vegetables fresh before you get a chance to use them all up however here are some tips that will help!

  •  As soon as you get home from the market, take pre-washed leafy greens out of their containers and throw away any bruised or spoiled pieces.
  • For unwashed greens, separate leaves and bathe them in several changes of icy cold water with a bit of vinegar or lemon juice to add crispness. Let the dirt and grit sink to the bottom. Spin the leaves dry and if you’re not using the leaves immediately, air dry them on a paper towel. Then, wrap and store the leaves in a clean, perforated plastic bag in the crisper section of your refrigerator.  
  • If your salad vegetables come home from the market wet, be sure to pat dry with paper towels before layering in plastic bags and placing in the crisper section of your refrigerator. 
  • Store root veggies unwashed. Potatoes and onions should be inspected for spoiled or moldy pieces and kept in a cool, dark, well-ventilated spot. Other root veggies can be stored loose in the crisper or in plastic bags.
  • Tomatoes — technically fruits — should remain on the counter to maintain flavor. Refrigeration can make them mushy. If you need to ripen them, place in a paper bag at room temperature. 
  • Remove mushrooms from the container and clean them individually with a damp paper towel. Dry them carefully, and store inside a paper bag — but don’t put them in the crisper; it’s too cold. A regular shelf in the fridge will do.
  • Certain veggies, like corn, will taste best if you cook and eat them the same day you buy them.
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New Workout!!

  |  in Exercises, Sample WorkoutsNo Comments

Ciruit 1:

10 Jump Squats

10 Sumo Jumps

20 Pushups


Circuit 2:

10 Iso bicep curls each arm separate 10-15 lb dumbbells

10 Bench pec fly 10 -15 lb dumbbells


Ab Circuit:

40 Crunch Pulse

20 Side Crunch on each side



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Arugula and Apple Salad

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Arugula and Apple Salad
By A Nutritionist Eats
WebMD Recipe from

Shake up your regular salad by adding this tangy vinaigrette to fresh arugula greens and crisp Granny Smith apple slices. The result is the kind of salad that can make you forget about dinner. The kind of salad that people return to for seconds. The kind that has stray fingers wandering into the bowl after everyone is stuffed hoping for one last flavor-soaked slice of apple.

1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp agave or honey
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
6 cups arugula greens

Whisk dressing ingredients together and toss with arugula and apple slices. *Tip: after tossing everything together, stuff 1 portion of greens in a mug or cup and invert on plate for a fancier presentation.

Total Servings: 4

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories: 75
Carbohydrates: 10.4 g
Cholesterol: 0mg Fat: 3.8 g Saturated Fat:0.5 g
Fiber: 1.4 g
Sodium: 51 mg
Protein: 1.0 g

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