Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Morroccan Stew

This stew is perfect for a cold winter day. It is packed with antioxidant-rich vegetables and fragrant spices. Serve this stew over a scoop of cooked quinoa or whole grain brown rice. Yield: 6 servings

Here's what you need:

•1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons water or vegetable stock, divided
•1 large size yellow onion, finely chopped
•2 large size red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
•2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
•1 teaspoon agave nectar or pure maple syrup
•1 teaspoon ground coriander
•1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
•1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger
•1/2 teaspoon saffron
•2 medium size sweet potatoes or garnet or jewel yams, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
•1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
•1 can (15oz) chickpeas drained and rinsed
•Salt and pepper to taste
1.Heat 3 tablespoons water in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, peppers and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes. If the water begins to evaporate, add a little more.
2.Stir in the agave nectar, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, ginger and saffron and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add sweet potatoes, and stir to coat. Stir in tomatoes, remaining 1 1/2 cups water and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
3.Simmer until sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then serve over quinoa or brown rice.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 141 calories, 1g fat, 29g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, and 6g protein.

Fast-Track to a Flat Tummy & Tight Abs

The summer is coming, and if you've decided to make this the spring for losing the weight and tightening your abs, you're in luck.

Getting a flat midsection really boils down to two things: 1) Getting rid of the fatty layer that is covering your abdominal muscles; and 2) Tightening and toning your abdominal muscles.

The following 7 Tight Abs Tips are your Fast-Track ticket to getting a flat, attractive midsection this year.

Tight Abs Tip #1: Perform challenging strength training abdominal exercises at least three times each week. Your abs are like any other muscle in your body—they need to be consistently challenged in order to become stronger and tighter.

Tight Abs Tip #2: Stop eating junk. Processed foods, refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup do NOT belong in your diet if, especially if you want tight abs. Cutting these items from your diet will allow your body to maintain stable blood sugar levels, alleviating your body's need to store excess sugar away in fat cells.

The fat stores created by excess sugar intake most often accumulate around your waist, covering up your abdominal muscles. Cut these items from your diet and replace them with real whole foods such as lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and fruits.

Tight Abs Tip #3: Stop doing long and slow cardio workouts. Instead, use HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for your cardio workouts. HIIT training uses intense bursts of cardio peppered throughout your workout. This is a sure-fire way to rev up your metabolism and to get your fat stores to shrink.

Tight Abs Tip #4: Use resistance with your abdominal exercises. Crunches are great, but your body quickly becomes accustomed to the motion, rendering it less effective. Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell at your chest as you perform your crunches—this will force your abs to work harder, and will achieve better results.

Tight Abs Tip #5: Don't be fooled. The market is flooded with 'lose weight' products and products that claim to flatten your stomach. Never waste your time or money on:
1.So-called packaged health food that comes with weight loss claims. If it's processed in a package with a bunch of chemical additives then it will not help you achieve flat abs.
2.Abdominal exercise gimmicks as sold on late night infomercials – all you really need is your own body weight, an exercise ball and dumbbells or a medicine ball.
3.So-called weight loss supplements. The magic pill for flat abs doesn't exist, so you'd be wasting your health and money on a bogus product.
Tight Abs Tip #6: Target your lower abs. It's easy to neglect the lower abs, but they are an important part of the equation. Incorporate the V-Up into your exercise routine:

Starting Position: Sit on the edge of an exercise bench; lean back to a 45 degree angle. Extend your legs out until they are level with the floor.

Movement: Exhale and bring your knees and upper body close together, while contracting your abdominals. Inhale as you slowly release your legs, returning them to the starting position.

Tight Abs Tips #7: Challenge your core often. Don't limit your abdominal exercise to the gym, incorporate core strengthening during daily life and throughout each workout. A strong core is the foundation for flat, tight abs.

There you have it! Seven tips that, when diligently applied, will help you shed the fat and tighten your abs.

But, keep in mind that your results will be seriously hindered if you do the same exercise routine over and over. Your abs need a progressive challenge in order to transform. This means new exercises, different resistance and increased challenge.

Call or email today to get started on a program that will challenge you, motivate you and transform your body.

Availability is limited -- act now and achieve a slimmer you once and for all this year.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Achieving Fitness Goals Involves Body and Mind

Achieving Fitness Goals Involves Body and Mind

January is cold and bleak, even here in Georgia, so it should come as no surprise that setting fitness goals this time of year can be the equivalent of setting yourself up to fail – unless you develop the mind-set that “this year will be different!”

Fit Body Boot Camp in Woodstock is here to help, with some tips to help you adopt a fitness mind-set and keep your commitment in 2010.

1. Set reasonable goals. If you haven't exercised in awhile, setting a goal of running a marathon in February is not something you're likely to attain, which will only result in frustration and failure. Our indoor boot camp classes offer a perfect solution, as your fellow boot campers include all fitness levels, from beginner level to regular participant. Plus, you can adapt each exercise to your own level of comfort – although your instructors will encourage you to push yourself so your workout has the desired effect.
2. Share your goals. People often set goals, then don't tell anyone else about them. Sharing your fitness goal with someone else helps keep you accountable, and you're less likely to give up or listen to the little voice inside your head that encourages you to hit the “snooze” button on the alarm clock!
3. Figure out what your motivation is. Why do you want to get in shape? Do you want to get your body ready for an upcoming vacation or special event? Do you want to fit back into some of your favorite clothes? Has your doctor informed you that your health is at risk? Or, do you simply want to look and feel better? Whatever your reason, write it down and refer to it often – it will help you keep your focus.
4. Do something you enjoy. No one is going to keep up with a fitness regimen if they get bored. At Fit Body Boot Camp, you're surrounded by like-minded individuals who encourage each other, laugh together and have fun working out, which will help you stay motivated to keep going.
5. Develop a lifestyle that will help you succeed. A regular fitness regimen includes proper nutrition and regular sleep. Your workout will be more effective – and you'll enjoy it more – if your body has the proper fuel and rest to help you achieve your goals.
When your mind's on board for fitness, your body will follow. By taking these steps to achieve a proper mindset, you'll be well on your way to keeping your fitness resolutions in 2010!

New Year's Fitness Resolution is Fun at Indoor Boot Camp

New Year's Fitness Resolution is Fun at Indoor Boot Camp

If you're like most people, your New Year's Resolutions include fitness goals such as “Lose Weight,” “Exercise More,” or the equivalent. While you may start the year with the best of intentions, diets and exercise plans often fail by mid-February (if they last that long!) because you get bored with the routine, or simply because there's no one to hold you accountable.

Enter Fit Body Boot Camp in Woodstock, an indoor boot camp class with fit body bootcamp's personal trainer , who makes workouts fun, challenging and effective.

Forty-five minutes of combined cardio and muscle-building sessions are set to music in a group setting, with participants ranging from beginners to regulars, who support one another in their efforts to get fit and stay fit.

If you're starting your fitness regimen in January, then Fit Body Boot Camp in Woodstock is the perfect place to start. Classes are offered indoors at the World of Kids campus on Bells Ferry Road, so inclement weather won't interfere with your workout.

It's also perfect for beginners, or folks with an aversion to exercising on a hard floor. Boot campers here enjoy the “give” in the gymnastics floor, which is easier on the feet, ankles and knees during the running and jumping exercises, and more comfortable to kneel or lie down during weight training, stretching and cool-down portions of the routine.

But the best part is the fun factor. Boot camp is a group activity in which everyone attends for the same goal: to get in shape and to have fun doing it. Participants encourage and motivate each other at every session, while the rapid-fire pace of the ever-changing routines doesn't leave you time to get bored.

Even if you've tried gym memberships and personal trainers in the past, you owe it to yourself to check out Fit Body Boot Camp, where getting fit is fun!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Creating A New Year's Action Plan

Creating A New Year's Action Plan

Creating a New Year's Resolution can be a great idea, especially if you are resolving to get healthier (weight loss and exercise are the top resolutions made). But if you don't have an action plan it may be doomed before it ever gets started. Unfortunately, the majority of individuals who make a new year's resolution end up breaking it. By February, nearly half have already failed.

The following shows how many of these resolutions are maintained as time goes on:
- past the first week: 75%
- past 2 weeks: 71%
- after one month: 64%
- after 6 months: 46% (1)

But don't let those stats convince you to plop down on your couch with a bag of chips. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don't explicitly make resolutions. (1) So, if you want to lose weight or just get more fit in 2010, then resolving to do so may be beneficial to you. Just make sure you have an action plan that helps ensure your success.

A Department of Labor survey of adults asked them to identify the biggest issue that prevents them from achieving their New Years Resolutions or goals. The top 3 reasons identified were as follows: Procrastinating 33%; Lack of discipline 24%; No game plan 19%.

Here is a specific action plan for diet and fitness related resolutions that will help eliminate these three top issues.

. Find a positive support system. For some, family may be just what they need. But, if your family members are struggling with the same diet or weight loss issues as you and aren't ready to commit themselves to change, then you might want to look elsewhere. Friends may also be an option, but again if they are struggling with their own issues then you might want to enlist other help. Try finding a local support group of like-minded people, go online for a virtual support group or seek out the help of a professional personal trainer or dietician.

. Don't put off tomorrow what you can do today. One of the biggest obstacles new dieters/exercises face is just getting started. If you continue to say "I'll start tomorrow", then you may find that tomorrow never comes. You repeatedly push it off and before you know it another year has passed by while you remain in the same place you were before. If you promise to start tomorrow, then do it! Don't allow any other "priority" to get in the way. At the risk of sounding cliché, Just Do It!

. Start a new exercise plan slowly but remain consistent and build up on it. Follow this example:
o Week 1: Walk for 20- 30 minutes just 2 times per week.
o Week 2: Increase your walking frequency to 3 times per week. Add in one day of strength training. Try 5-10 exercises to target your entire body.
o Weeks 3-4: Maintain the three days of walking and increase the strength training to two times per week.
o Weeks 5-6: Increase the intensity of your walk sessions by increasing the speed and/or increasing the incline. If possible, walk four times per week and strength train 3 times per week.
o Weeks 7-8: Time to change things up to keep your body challenged and avoid plateaus and burnout. Try adding a different cardio option at least two times per week (swimming, jogging, playing a sport, etc.). For the strength training, try new techniques like pyramids or supersets. You may need to enlist the help of a personal trainer for new ideas.
. Start a new diet plan slowly but consistently. Avoid labeling any foods as "bad". Eat a variety but in moderation and include more of the nutritionally dense foods.
o Week 1: Improve your hydration through your daily water intake. Try to consume approximately 64 ounces per day.
o Week 2: Add in one extra vegetable a day until you are eating 5 servings of vegetables every day.
o Week 3: Include one serving of lean protein at every meal.
o Week 4: Limit starches and sweets (simple carbohydrates).

. The above exercise and diet recommendations give you a substantial game plan for your first two months. All you have to do is implement it. Post this action plan on your refrigerator or somewhere else that will force you to look at it every day. And, mark every action on your daily calendar to ensure it doesn't get bumped by some other priority.

Also, remember that setbacks are normal and should not spell disaster for your resolution. If you are following your game plan 90% of the time and only 10% of the time falling off the wagon, then pat yourself on the back and cut yourself a little slack! If you find yourself starting to really wane from the plan, then tap back into what helped you initially get motivated. Don't give up. Just start where you can (even if that's taking a few steps backward) and head toward your goal.

Auld Lang Syne: Success predictors, change processes, and self-reported outcomes of New Year's resolvers and nonresolvers, by John C. Norcross, Marci S. Mrykalo, Matthew D. Blagys , University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology, Volume 58, Issue 4 (2002).

Spotlight Exercise Move of the Month

Abdominal Crunch With Heels Together: targets abdominals

Begin by laying flat on your back with knees bent out to the side and bottom of feet touching. Head is resting in your hands with your elbows pointing out to the sides. Contract your stomach and lift up while bringing your upper body toward your legs. Return to starting position and repeat.

Monthly Recipe - Pizza Meatloaf

1 pound ground turkeybreast
3/4 cup spaghetti
1/4 cup mozzarella part skim
1/2 cup green peppers, chopped
1/4 cup onion, minced

1. Lightly grease 9-inch pie plate with vegetable
oil. Pat turkey into pie plate.

1. Place turkey in 350˚ F oven; bake until turkey
no longer remains pink, about 17 to 20 minutes.

1. Cover turkey with waxed paper.
2. Cook on high; rotate plate 1/4 turn after 3
3. Cook until turkey no longer remains pink, about
5 more minutes. Drain.

1. Top baked turkey with spaghetti sauce, cheese,
and vegetables.
2. Return turkey to either the conventional oven or
the microwave oven and heat until cheese is
melted, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Per Serving

Calories 255
Total Fat 14 grams
Saturated Fat 4 grams
Cholesterol 88 milligrams
Sodium 376 milligrams