Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Healthy Party Food for Football Fans

Attention football fans: its playoff time, and with the playoffs comes squeezing into man caves, yelling at the television, eating pizza and wings, and drinking beer. But what if we could change how we hosted football parties to make them healthier for you and for friends and family? I’d like to offer some healthy alternative recipes to make your football events a blast for your friends without expanding your waistline.

First things first, always buy your own food from your local grocery store instead of going to the local pizza joint or fast food restaurant. Cooking at home with fresh ingredients gives you a lot more control over how food is prepared so that you might avoid extra calories or less-than-desirable ingredients that can come in fast food items. Also, always have a veggie/fruit plate handy! We all love to graze so be prepared for healthy grazing items for your fans. Now for some fun, and healthy recipes!

Ginger Garlic Shrimp

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 1 Cup, Calories 110, Fat 1.5 Grams, Cholesterol 85mg, Sodium 234.5mg, Potassium 110mg, Protein 10.6g.


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined

Cooking Instructions: 

  1. In a large bowl, mix the vegetable oil with the parsley, garlic, basil, ginger, lemon juice, salt and crushed red pepper. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.    
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Stir in the ginger, garlic and lemongrass and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt. Transfer the sauce to ramekins.
  3. Light a grill. Loosely thread the shrimp onto 10 skewers. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to plates and serve with tomato sauce.

Teriyaki Sesame Chicken Skewers

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 2 Skewers, 110 calories, Total Fat 2g, Saturated Fat 2g, Carbohydrates 2g.GettyImages-637145496.jpg


  • 15 ounces teriyaki sauce (no more than 2g sugar per serving)
  • 6 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Cooking Instructions: 

  1. Special equipment: 30 (8-inch) bamboo skewers
  2. Soak bamboo skewers in water for 1 hour to keep from burning later.
  3. Mix all marinade ingredients together in a non-reactive container large enough to hold all of the chicken. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch strips and submerge them in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Thread 1 chicken strip on each skewer towards end of the stick, and line up on a sheet pan. Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until fully cooked through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

Sweet Potato Skins

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 1 Ounce, Calories 140, Total Fat 7g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 140mg, Carbohydrates 15g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 4g, Sugar 3g.


  • 6 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 3 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup salsa Verde
  • 1/2 avocado, pitted and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup black bean chips, crushed

Cooking Instructions: 

  1. Position an oven rack in the top of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F. Put the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until fork-tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely. (The potatoes can be baked, cooled and refrigerated a day ahead.) Split each in half lengthwise, and scoop out most of the flesh, leaving about a 1/4-inch border all around. (Save the scooped-out flesh for making mashed sweet potatoes later.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put a rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the potato skins skin-side up on the rack, and brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Bake until the skins are slightly browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely, then cut each in half crosswise.
  3. Arrange the pieces skin-side down on the rack, and sprinkle each with mozzarella, Parmesan and scallions. Bake until the mozzarella melts, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the potato skins from the oven, and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Top each with some salsa Verde and avocado. Sprinkle with crushed chips.

Notice how these dishes are very similar to regular party cuisine? Just tweaking a couple of ingredients can make a big difference to the quality of the recipe. If you compare the chicken skewers to buffalo chicken dip, the average amount of calories per serving size is around 1000 calories compared to 110 for 2 chicken skewers. These recipes are not only good for you nutritionally, but these recipes are a unique way to stand out from your other friends while rooting on your favorite team. Now get out there and give these recipes a try or try transforming YOUR favorites!

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Topics: nutrition diet and nutrition healthy food choices healthy eating healthy party food

Debunking the Myths About Personal Trainers


TRX Cher (2).jpgThere are a number of misconceptions these days about personal trainers and what it’s like to be one. Don’t all personal trainers have perfect bodies and eat nothing but fruits, vegetables, and protein shakes? Sure, you’ll have a select number of trainers who eat, sleep, and breathe fitness, but the vast majority of us are just normal people. Let’s debunk some of these common myths about personal trainers.

  • We eat healthy foods every day of the week. While most trainers enjoy a nutritious, well-balanced diet, most have no problem mixing in a few splurge meals throughout the week. I personally follow extremely strict nutrition Monday morning through Friday afternoon, and then reward myself with fresh pasta or pizza and breadsticks for a Friday dinner. You better believe I’m getting up early on Saturday morning for a long bout of cardio to put those extra carbs to good use!
  • We work out two or three times a day. It’s true, trainers should practice what they preach; however, most of us only work out once a day, most days of the week. One big misconception is that trainers and fitness specialists spend most of their workday working out. I actually had a friend ask me, “What do you do all day at work, just work out?” I was flabbergasted with my friend’s question. Whether I’m delivering fitness and nutrition presentations, making workouts for group exercise classes and clients, or creating fun and exciting fitness challenges, most fitness professionals don’t spend all day “just working out.”
  • We love all types of exercise. Variety in your workouts is essential, but any trainer would be lying if they said they love all modes of fitness. Most trainers have been working out long enough to recognize what they enjoy, so they generally stick to those methods of exercise to maintain a healthy weight. The key is understanding your client’s needs, and providing them with a variety of options that work for their likes and dislikes. For example, I have two left feet in Zumba class and feel like I might drown in a pool, but I understand that some clients thrive in a choreographed class or swimming freestyle.
  • We never get hurt. It’s true that trainers should be demonstrating impeccable technique and injury prevention form while exercising. The truth is that even trainers can overdo it with too much weight or too many repetitions. Furthermore, trainers can sometimes feel like Superman or Superwoman and try things outside of traditional exercises that could potentially hurt them. I learned this the hard way recently while thinking I could ski all day for four days straight in Colorado. The second to last day of my vacation I severely tweaked my back, making the long plane ride home almost unbearable. I credit my consistent core training for my quick recovery; however, I learned my lesson that anyone can overdo it.
  • We’ve never had issues with our weight or body. Believe it or not, trainers can be even more self-conscious than their clients. We have problem areas and imperfections. We look in the mirror and wish a certain part of the body was more defined or had less fat. We set such high standards for ourselves; it’s easy to be extra critical of the way we look. Most good trainers can relate to these insecurities and use these feelings to help empathize with clients. Eventually trainers and clients alike have to learn to accept imperfections and embrace the beautiful qualities of their body.

Now that you know a little more about what it’s like to be a personal trainer, you can learn more about personal training at NIFS, and even get a free 30-minute assessment.



Topics: nutrition NIFS personal trainers injury prevention workouts personal training

Health and Wellness: Healthy Doesn’t Mean Perfect

GettyImages-842336990.jpgWhen people think of the word “healthy,” they typically have a vision or an expectation in their heads. We equate “healthy” with having the perfect body (which, by the way, means something different to everyone), making the perfect food choices, getting a certain amount of exercise each week, getting a certain amount of sleep each night, and having very little stress.

Everyone Makes Health and Wellness Mistakes

But this isn’t always reality. It’s not uncommon for people to begin making healthy lifestyle changes and developing healthy habits, only to give up once they realize how incredibly difficult it is to maintain "perfect" nutrition and exercise. In fact, I would argue that this level of perfectionism is impossible to achieve.

Your journey to health will not be perfect. And your efforts to maintain your health will not be perfect. We’re all imperfect. You won’t always make the healthiest food choices. You won’t always get 150 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise each week. You won’t always dedicate enough time to stretching, or practicing meditation on a regular basis. Wouldn’t it be a dream if we could all get eight hours of sleep every night? And we all have different body types; we come in all different shapes and sizes.

What Does It Mean to Be “Healthy”?

Everyone has expectations, and being a fitness coach and personal trainer for the last 15 years, I’m no exception to this rule. Even I have struggled with finding my healthy. So what does healthy mean? What does healthy look like

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines healthy as

The condition of being sound in mind, body, or spirit; a condition in which someone or something is thriving or doing well.

The World Health Organization defines healthy as

A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

What’s truly important when becoming healthy is how you feel mentally and physically. Healthy people tend to have more energy; feel well rested, have fewer aches, pains, and illnesses; and just generally feel good about themselves. And that right there is, by definition, healthy. Healthy really doesn’t mean you always make perfect choices or have the “perfect” body; it means you feel well.

My healthy means I occasionally eat chicken nuggets with my kids for dinner so we have time to go outside to play basketball before it gets dark. My healthy is going to bed at 9:30pm and waking up at 5:30am to get some work done, so once my kids go to school I can work out. My healthy means I have wrinkly, stretched out skin on my belly from having two kids, but I’m at a weight where I feel great. I’m not perfect, but once I stopped trying to be perfect, and just was healthy, it made life and achieving mental and physical health so much easier.

At the end of the day, being healthy is not about fitting into a certain mold. It’s not about following the latest diet or exercise trends. It’s about finding your definition of healthy that allows you to thrive physically, mentally, and spiritually. Practice healthy eating as often as possible, get exercise whenever you can, go to bed when you’re tired, and try not to compare yourself to other people’s definition of health. Remember, each individual is different and healthy looks different to everyone. Focus on feeling well!

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Topics: nutrition health and wellness perfectionism healthy habits

Smart Weight Loss: How to Steer Clear of Fad Diets


508669134.jpgThese days it seems there is one new health or weight-loss diet out every week. My clients are constantly saying to me:

  • “Is worth it?”
  • “My friend lost a gazillion pounds on it, so it must work!”
  • “I saw on TV how this diet cures diabetes.”
  • “But Dr. Oz says…”

And before I knew better, I fell into the trap of these diets myself! Back then it was SlimFast and the Richard Simmons plans that were all the rage. Nowadays, we see the Fasting Diet plans, Paleo, Whole30, and Weight Watchers. And while I don’t think all of these plans are horrible or unsafe, I do believe that for the most part you should save your time and money if the diet does any of the following things.

Tells You to Follow Strict Meal Plans

Life is already complicated enough. Limiting food choices or following rigid meal plans can be an overwhelming, unrealistic feat. With any new diet, always ask yourself: "Can I eat this way for the rest of my life?" If the answer is no, the plan is not for you.

Promises Rapid Weight Loss

Slow, steady weight loss is more likely to last than dramatic weight changes. Healthy plans aim for a loss of no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week. If you lose weight quickly, you are 100% more likely to gain it back just as quickly.

Says to Consume Foods in Excess or Cut Them Out Completely

Ditch diets that allow unlimited quantities of any food, such as grapefruit and cabbage soup. It's boring to eat the same thing over and over and hard to stick with monotonous plans. Avoid any diet that eliminates or severely restricts entire food groups, such as carbohydrates. These aren’t necessary or realistic; you can lose weight without these nutrition extremes.

Requires Supplements Like Pills or Powders

Might as well take your money and just throw it in the trash. Not only are these supplements not necessary, they are not proven safe or effective. Ask a trusted professional and learn the consequences for yourself.

Conflicting claims, testimonials, and hype by so-called experts can confuse even the most informed consumers. The bottom line is this: If a fad diet or product sounds too good to be true, it is.

Unsure of where to start or what is right for you?  Grab our free download on the benefits of meeting with a nutrition coach, click below!

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Topics: nutrition weight loss fad diets

The Confusing World of Nutrition Bars

ThinkstockPhotos-614978722.jpgThere are so many nutrition bars out there that I am sure it can be a challenge to pick one that is the best. So how do you know if the bar you are choosing is the healthiest option for you?

With anything, when it comes to your food and nutrition, the key is moderation and balance. You should be choosing a bar that you like the taste of and that works for your schedule and habits. The goal is to try to eat as many whole, fresh foods as possible and decrease the packaged foods with giant ingredients lists of things you might have trouble pronouncing. However, these bars can be a nice backup for snacks to keep in your purse, car, gym bag, or desk drawer for those times when you need fuel and don’t have other options.

Choosing a Nutrition Bar

Here are some good rules of thumb to follow when it comes to these convenient bars.

Protein: Choose one with at least 5 grams and no more than 15 grams. This will help keep you full and is what makes these bars have more staying power than a regular granola bar or candy bar. Too much protein will make the bar have an unpleasant taste, or more ingredients will be added to cover the added protein taste. Also, this bar is intended to be a snack to hold you over until mealtime, and not to replace the quality protein you should be getting from meals.

Fiber: Choose one with more than 3 grams. Fiber is another thing that will help keep you full, so choosing a bar with staying power will help keep you satisfied until your next meal.

Fat: Choose one with mainly heart-healthy fat. Check the label and make sure the saturated and trans fat content is low and the majority of fat is coming from mono or polyunsaturated fats like you would find in nuts.

Carbohydrates: Choose one with mostly whole grains and 15 grams or less of sugar. This can be tricky because a lot of bars have added sugar to make them taste better. Try to steer away from the ones that are a fancy candy bar and choose one that is lower in sugar.

The Most Nutritious Bars

Here are a few bars that meet these requirements:

Was your favorite not on the list, or did it not meet the requirements? Remember, if you are choosing a nutrition bar occasionally, it can fit into a balanced diet and complement your healthy eating.

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Topics: nutrition fiber snacks protein healthy eating

Best Snacks for Healthy Eating

ThinkstockPhotos-88749380.jpgSome people think that snacking can sabotage your healthy eating plan. However, snacking keeps your energy levels up and prevents you from becoming overly hungry, which can lead to poor food choices. Eating every three to four hours can also help regulate your metabolism, which ensures that you burn calories throughout the day. Strive for at least two small snacks per day, but try to limit yourself to 100 to 150 calories or less per snack.

Also, be sure your snack is balanced—that it offers complex carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle building and repair, and a small amount of fat for satiety. You can ensure nutritional balance and prevent snack boredom by varying your daily choices.

Best Snacks for Great Nutrition

Here are some great snack choices:

  • 6 oz Greek yogurt topped with ½ cup of berries
  • ¾ cup of whole-grain cereal, nut, and dried fruit trail mix
  • 1 apple and 1 oz. low-fat cheese
  • 1 cup yogurt smoothie made with real fruit
  • 1 oz. baked tortilla chips with ¼ cup bean dip
  • 2 oz. low-fat cheese on five whole-grain crackers
  • 1 whole-wheat tortilla with 1 oz. melted cheese and ¼ cup salsa
  • 1 cup raw vegetables and 2 Tbsp. low-fat dip or hummus
  • 1 Tbsp. nut butter on a banana
  • 1 cup berries topped with ¼ cup low-fat granola cereal
  • ¼ cup whole-grain cereal and ¼ cup raisins with ¼ cup skim milk
  • ¾ cup pasta salad made with raw veggies, cheese, and low-fat dressing
  • ½ pita pocket stuffed with raw vegetables and 1 slice low-fat cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat vegetable-bean soup
  • ½ turkey and cheese sandwich on whole-wheat bread
  • 1 handful almonds and ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup cottage cheese and ½ cup pineapple
  • ½ peanut butter/banana sandwich on whole-wheat bread
  • ½ whole-wheat English muffin toasted and topped with a slice of tomato and low-fat cheese

The Benefits of Snacks

You might feel guilty about snacking, but snacks aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, mini meals several times a day can be beneficial. Here’s how:

  • Binge control. If eating several low-fat, whole-grain crackers, a few pretzels, a piece of fruit, or some raw vegetables keeps you from taking second or third helpings at your next meal, you may actually consume fewer total calories for the day.
  • Extra energy and nutrients. Traditional, made-at-home meals often lose out to busy schedules. A grab-and-go snack can be the difference between some nourishment and none at all.
  • Satisfaction for small appetites. Young children’s tiny stomachs can hold only small portionsof food at a time. Older adults who are less active and who burn fewer calories also may feel comfortable eating smaller meals more frequently.

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Topics: nutrition weight control fiber snacks protein healthy eating

Thinking of Going Vegetarian? Plant-Based Nutrition Basics

ThinkstockPhotos-520129642.jpgHave you been considering plant based nutrition, vegetarian diet? Approximately 3.2% of the American population currently follows this diet, with 0.5% of those following a vegan diet, which includes no animal products at all. This is very small when compared to India, where an estimated 42% of the population does not eat meat.

Why Eliminate Meat?

So why would you consider going vegetarian? There are many reasons, but the most popular are for health reasons, to help preserve the Earth’s natural resources, and for animal rights. However, when some individuals decide to eliminate meat and other animal products from their diets, they might not be getting in all of the essential nutrients that are important.

Proper Nutrition for Meatless Eating

Here are some nutrients to make sure you are getting in to guarantee that your diet is balanced.

  • Protein: Essential for growth and maintenance. Food sources include beans, nuts, nut butters, peas, and soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers). Milk products and eggs are options for lacto-ovo vegetarians.
  • Iron: A primary carrier of oxygen in the blood. Food sources include iron-fortified cereals, spinach, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, turnip greens, molasses, whole-wheat breads, peas, and some dried fruit (apricots, prunes, and raisins).
  • Calcium: Important for building bones and teeth, and maintaining bone strength. Food sources include fortified breakfast cereals, soy (tofu, soy-based beverages), calcium-fortified orange juice, and some dark green, leafy vegetables (collard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, and mustard greens).
  • Zinc: Necessary for many biochemical reactions and helps the immune system function properly. Food sources include a variety of beans (white beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas), zinc-fortified breakfast cereals, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds; and milk products for lacto vegetarians.
  • Vitamin B12: Necessary for cell division and growth, and strengthens the immune system. Food sources include milk products, eggs, B-12–fortified foods (breakfast cereals, soy-based burgers, veggie burgers, and nutritional yeast).

Vegans who do not have fortified foods and ovo-vegetarians who do not have fortified milk substitutes should consume the following daily:

  • 3–5 teaspoons vegetable oil (for calories and essential fatty acids)
  • 1 Tablespoon blackstrap molasses (for iron and calcium)
  • 1 Tablespoon brewer’s nutritional yeast for B vitamins, especially riboflavin and B12

Tips for Plant-Based Meals

Some final advice for those considering this diet is to build meals around protein sources that are naturally low in fat, such as beans, lentils, and quinoa. Don’t overload meals with high-fat cheese to replace the meat. Many foods that typically contain meat or poultry can be made vegetarian. This can increase vegetable intake and cut saturated fat and cholesterol intake. A variety of products look (and may taste) like their non-vegetarian counterparts, but are usually lower in saturated fat and contain no cholesterol.

Most restaurants can accommodate modifications to menu items by substituting meatless sauces, omitting meat from stir-fry dishes, and adding vegetables or pasta in place of meat. These substitutions are more likely to be available at restaurants that make food to order.

If you would like to schedule a personal nutrition consultation to help you decide whether switching to a meat-free diet is the right decision for you, contact me at

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Topics: nutrition protein vegetarian vegan plant-based

Why should you shop at your farmer's market?

ThinkstockPhotos-526124862.jpgOne of my favorite things to do during summer in Indiana is to visit the various farmers’ markets around town. As a dietitian I am a sucker for the fresh fruits and veggies, but I also love the homemade desserts, candles, pasta, kettle corn, fresh flowers, and other wonderful items you can find.

Why Should You Shop at Your Farmer's Market?

Here are my top 5 reasons why visiting your town's farmer’s market is a must.

  1. Support the local community. Since the produce is grown and purchased locally, the money remains in the community and stimulates the economy. Also, when you shop at the farmers’ market you are cutting out the middle man, and the product is generally less expensive than if you purchased it in the grocery store.
  2. Eat foods that are in season. Farmers’ market produce is picked ripe and sold soon after picking. Supermarket produce, on the other hand, can take up to two weeks to travel from the farm to the store, even when it is in season. The produce tastes richer and more flavorful and the nutrients are better retained. This handout for Indiana allows you to see which produce is in season so you can plan ahead for meals and shopping on your next outing. If you don’t live in Indiana, check with your local government websites to see if they have a similar calendar.
  3. It’s good for you. The average American eats 4.4 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The current recommendations are 9 servings per day. Picking up multiple servings of fruits and veggies and incorporating them into recipes, meals, and snacks is a great way to get closer to the 9-serving-per-day-goal. This will guarantee you are meeting your recommended vitamin and mineral nutrition requirements, increasing your daily fiber intake, and acquiring cancer-fighting antioxidants. Locally grown produce is also lower in pesticides and chemicals.
  4. You can talk to the farmers who grew the food you are about to eat. You can meet the farmers who grew your food, ask when it was picked, how it was grown, and ways to prepare it. When else do you get the opportunity to learn so much about what you are putting in your mouth?
  5. There is certain to be one that fits your location and schedule. I love being able to go to the local farmers’ market close to work on my lunch break mid-week to grab items to get me through the rest of the week. Saturday mornings it’s off to the farmers’ market closer to my house to purchase goodies for the weekend and first part of the next week. To find out farmers’ markets close to you, check out the Farmers Market Directory on the USDA website.

An Inexpensive Path to Healthy Eating

Whether you are picking up items for tonight’s dinner or for the whole week, the farmers’ market is an inexpensive, healthy alternative to the grocery store that enables you to participate in eating local. Try to get there early to get the best variety and options. Not all vendors accept credit cards, so be sure to have cash on hand. Finally, bring along your own reusable grocery bag to put all of your goodies in so it is easier to carry home your fresh, delicious finds.

Not sure where to start on your path to a healthier diet?  Check out this quick read for how you could benefit from meeting with a nutrition coach!  Click below.

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Topics: nutrition healthy eating eating local summer vegetables

How to Revitalize your Fitness this Summer

Do you feel like every summer is the same: take the kids to summer camp, go to work, pick the kids up, go home, make dinner, and then start all over again the next day? What about you? What do you do for yourself and your health, wellness and fitness? Here are few tips for how to revitalize your fitness this summer.

  • ThinkstockPhotos-507114390.jpgPick up a new sport or try a new fitness class. Get social! Sign up for a group fitness class that you wouldn’t normally try and bring a friend. Ask your local fitness center what summer programs they have planned. Prefer a team aspect to your fitness? Check out a local sports league in your area and get involved.
  • Buy a new pair of shoes. If it’s been over 6 months since you bought new running shoes, now is the perfect time to invest in a new pair. Even regular walking can cause wear and tear on shoes and also your feet and legs. Visit your local running store and get fitted for the right pair of shoes for you. Then get outside and get moving!
  • Update your workout gear. What goes well with a new pair of shoes? New workout gear! We all love to show off new clothes, right? What better place than on your local running path or in your local gym? Also think about purchasing other equipment such as a good hat or visor to protect your face from the sun.
  • Change up your diet. Not only do you need to switch up your activity, you also need to modify your diet. The summer brings fresh fruit and veggies and a lot of color and nutrition available to add to your diet. Try new things, spice it up, and see what’s out there that you never knew you were missing! You might even try a healthy summer picnic.

As you think of new ways to revitalize your summer, make sure things like water, sunscreen, relaxation, and activity are all constants for safe summer workouts. Increased sunlight and heat provide more opportunity to develop sunburn and dehydration. Take the necessary precautions to avoid any mishaps that will prevent you from enjoying the outdoors.

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Topics: nutrition shoes hydration equipment summer wellness and fitness

Start Your Day Off Right with a High-Nutrition Breakfast

ThinkstockPhotos-dv2014027.jpgIf it’s the most important meal of the day, why do about 31 million people or 10% of the population still skip breakfast? Here are the top three reasons people give for skipping breakfast and how you can overcome those excuses to make eating a high nutrition breakfast be a part of your daily routine.

  • I’m just not hungry in the morning. You should wake up in the morning and be hungry. Your body has gone at least 8 hours without food, so it should be ready for some fuel. If not, take a look at your before-bedtime habits and check to see whether you are constantly having snacks like chips and ice cream late into the evening. If so, this can affect your hunger levels in the morning. Don’t go to bed hungry, but instead choose a reasonable snack around 100–150 calories like Greek yogurt or an apple with 1 Tbsp of peanut butter.
  • I don’t have time for breakfast. If you would rather hit the snooze button a few more times than prepare breakfast for yourself, you might find yourself without enough time to eat in the morning. The key is to aim for three food groups at a meal, so even if you grab a turkey sandwich and a banana as you run out the door, you are still starting your day right. The key is to combine some protein and whole grains to help give you energy and keep you full. Breakfast is also a great time to get in a dairy or fruit serving too! If time is an issue, use this recipe for Breakfast Egg Muffins to prepare breakfast for the whole week. Add an egg to an English muffin and grab a glass of milk or piece of fruit to go with it and you are set!
  • I want to save my calories for later in the day. Some people think if they skip breakfast it will help with their weight-loss efforts or it gives them more calories to consume at lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A recent study compared two groups: one ate more for breakfast and the other ate more at dinner, with both consuming the same amount of calories. The breakfast group lost more weight and inches than the dinner group. Typically people who skip breakfast overcompensate the rest of the day by eating more calories than if they had started their day with a balanced meal.

Whatever your reason for skipping breakfast is, try to break that habit and start eating something every day for better nutrition all day. Start small with a glass of 100% juice or a piece of fruit and then work up to a balanced meal between 400 and 500 calories and at including least three food groups.

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Topics: nutrition weight loss breakfast snacks