Health

Super Kale! To The Rescue!

Kale is a popular superfood – maybe the most popular one around – with its high fiber, iron, vitamin A & K, calcium and antioxidant content. Pound for pound (or gram for gram), kale has twice the amount of vitamin C as an orange and more calcium than milk! Got Kale? It has become a pretty notorious scapegoat for social media mockery:

Haters gonna hate…

If you haven’t grown to love it yet, we’re here to give you a few innovative ideas to give it another try or to shake up your kale standards!

START SIMPLE: Add some kale to your smoothie for a quick nutritious boost! It’s flavor won’t overpower fruit-based smoothies, and it blends well for a leafy vegetable.

SUPER KALE DRESSING: A salad may truly only be as good as its dressing! The somewhat bitter flavor of kale can be curbed by purchasing young/earlier harvested kale from your local Farmers’ Market, OR consider complementing that bitter flavor with some sweet!

– 2 c of your favorite fruit (raspberries are a great choice)
– 2 Tbsp. Dijon or Tahini
– 1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
– 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup
– 1 Tbsp. of a fresh herb like thyme or rosemary.

SUPER KALE CHIPS: Cut the thick stems off your kale and tear into bits. Rinse, then run through a salad spinner to dry thoroughly. Rub olive oil and salt in, spreading the leaves over a cookie sheet. Bake 10-15 minute at 350 degrees or until the edges are brown but not burnt. Get creative with different seasonings like Cajun or Chili Powder!

SUPER KALE PESTO: Mix up the flavor profile of your Pesto by swapping the basil out for kale!

– Pour 1 c of olive oil into a food processor
– Add 3 cloves of garlic
– Add 12 cups of chopped kale leaves until blended.
– Stir in 1 cup of pine nuts, 1 cup parmesan, and salt to taste.

**For added veggie goodness, serve over zucchini noodles!

SUPER KALE SOUP: Consider adding roughly chopped kale into soup for texture and flavor! Much like the use of endives in Italian Wedding Soup, Kale is a great complement in broth-based or even cream-based soups! Kale can be purchased in bulk, tossed in a freezer bag, and then simply crumbled into your bowl!

SUPER KALE TACOS: Few social media trends are more prolific than the mockery of healthy eating habits, but the insatiable craze over Tacos may have the upper hand! Hurdle your hesitation on this one and try out this delicious recipe below from Cookie and Kate!

and yes…I know tacos and burritos are not quite the same thing 😉

http://cookieandkate.com/2012/simple-kale-and-black-bean-burritos/

Be Smart this Summer!

The Summer brings many many things, but one thing that is in great supply is SUN!

Now, who doesn’t love the long summer sunshine hours? But it is important to note, that there are some precautions that should be taken with all that sun!

Sunscreen – It’s a hot topic (pun intended!). We need some vitamin D from the sun, but also shouldn’t wait to get burned either. Start with the basics of wearing clothing that shields you from the sun’s UV rays and reducing your burn risk. Seek out shade and plan outings in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is not at it’s peak. If you plan on soaking up the rays all day and using protection, make sure to investigate your sunscreen (for harsh chemicals, and get rid of those spray sunscreens!) or even consider making your own.
Homemade Sunscreen Recipe

Sunglasses – Don’t forget to protect your eyes! Much like skin, lighter eye colors are more susceptible to damage from harmful UV rays! UV overexposure may lead to macular degeneration (a leading cause of vision loss for older Americans) and some kinds of cataracts (a clouding of the eye lens). Make sure your sunglasses have 100% protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Polarized lenses can help in very bright conditions to reduce eye strain.

Stay hydrated! – Summer can be filled with a lot of parties and events. Keep in mind that alcoholic and caffeinated beverages pull water FROM the body and promote dehydration. Try consuming 6-12 ounces of fluid every 10-15 minutes that you are outside. If you plan to be active outdoors, try drinking 16-20 ounces of fluid 1-2 hours before your activity.

Get Quality Sleep – During the summer it can be a little more challenging to get a full nights shut eye when the early morning sunrise is calling your name, or the extended daylight keeps you awake later than usual. If you have trouble sleeping, try blinking quickly for one whole minute – tired eyes help you fall asleep! If you’re still having trouble, try stretching for 5 minutes; your muscles will relax and it will be easier to find a comfortable sleeping position.

Aloe Vera Ice Cubes – Forgot to heed the sunscreen warnings above? Rub some relief into your skin! Freeze aloe vera in an ice cube tray for quick grab and go relief!

Mighty Micros!

Mighty Mighty Microgreens!

Did you know that Microgreens contain many times the nutrient density of their mature-harvested counterparts? These things pack a nutritional punch! (see USDA article here)

Microgreens are vegetables and herbs harvested when their first set of true leaves sprout. These things pack a lot of flavor, nutrients and vitamins into a small package! Often they are confused with sprouts, so let’s break down the difference:

Microgreens
– Harvested after first true leaves (not cotyledon) sprout – when plants are about 2 inches tall
– Harvest time: 1 – 3 weeks
– Grown in soil and in the sunshine (where plants get most of their nutrients from)

Sprouts
– Harvested during the sprouting phase
– Harvest time: 2 – 3 days
– Grown in water and in the dark

While sprouts are also considered a healthy food source, microgreens are far superior when it comes to nutrient and fiber content. Leafy microgreens for instance are a significant source of beta-carotene, iron and calcium, and dark leafy microgreens (kale, chard, etc) are high in antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic eye disease and cataracts. Microgreens are very easy to grow, so get yourself some seeds and get started!
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No matter what the season, microgreens can be grown near a sunny window year-round. Snow pea shoots, red beets, purple and green basil, pak choi, cilantro, parsley and mesclun mix germinate and grow to microgreen size in about two weeks. (Susan Smith-Durisek/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)

Growing microgreens requires little space and time – unlike a traditional garden. Some good options for seeds to use are: Basil, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Chard, Cilantro, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mustard, Parsley, Peas, Radishes and Spinach!

1. Poke a few holes in the bottom of a plastic tub for drainage (see: spinach or mushroom container for instance).

2. Fill the container with 1 – 2 inches of light seedling soil and smooth it out to be even – but not compacted. (Being that we are growing microgreens for a nutrient rich food source, be sure of the quality and safety of your soil! Choose high-quality, organic soil whenever possible)

3. Sprinkle seeds so they almost cover the soil for a dense planting, and then sprinkle a light covering of soil over the seeds and pat gently

4. Water with a spray bottle to avoid dislodging seeds (a plastic cover can help keep moisture in)

5. Keep in a dark, warm area of the house until seeds start to sprout and then transfer to a sunny windowsill until ready to harvest

It really is that easy! Try it out and see for yourself!

Set New Goals. Achieve More. March FORTH!

March FORTH is a little-known holiday we celebrate each year.  It is the only day of the year that is a command encouraging us all to take on new experiences, celebrate our accomplishments, and set new goals.

It is said that more than 80% of all New Year’s Resolutions fail. The word resolve, when used as a noun, is defined as “firm determination to do something.” As a verb, resolve means to “settle or find a solution.”

9 weeks into 2017, March fourth, FORTH rather, brings an invitation to resolve instead of re-solve lingering problems.  This is a time to acknowledge barriers and bust through them.

Here are four simple things we can use to change our life now, energize our bodies all day, provide more joy to our families forever, and add years to your life:

4 Strategies to SSS-HIIT Yourself Fit and March FORTH

  1. Set a goal.

Social goals look good on paper and tend to be based on norms or societal demands.  “Lose weight. Tone up.”  Set personal goals.  What do YOU want? Don’t conform. Change! The best way to do this is to ask one very important question regarding your goal.  WHY?

Dig deep. Once a sincere, personal goal has been established and the motivation behind it is understood, there is no stopping you from achieving it! Our expert staff will reverse engineer your goal to show you the first step to achieving it. The rest snowballs from here! Don’t re-solve. RESOLVE.

  1. Eat better.

We know that knowledge is power, but only “doing” equals change. Try swapping out all those diet plans, quick fixes, pills, and punishments for a simple template that we suggest to our members.

SSS

Enjoy a SHAKE for breakfast.  Protein shakes are fast, affordable, convenient, and available everywhere.  Avoid powders with a long list of ingredients. Dress that shake up with greens, fruit, or veggies instead of chemicals and faux flavors.

SALADS are perfect for lunch.  Veggies, salads, stir fry, and broth-based soups are a great way to satisfy hungry, produce results, and energize our bodies all afternoon. It’s tough to overdo foods high in protein, fiber, and water. So, no need to stress over portions when it comes to vegetables and proteins.  Eat until 80% full, also known as satisfied.

Save the STARCH-y carbohydrates for dinner or post-workout.  That’s the final S in our SSS template. Save half of your plate for vegetables.  25% of your plate contains a protein source such as chicken, beef, or fish.  Reserve the remainder of your plate for a starch.  This starch could range from a sweet potato or wild rice to a glass of wine or a small dessert.  Did you know you can get amazing results without totally depriving yourself? It’s true!

  1. Move more, better, and often!

 HIIT

That’s right! The secret to having energy all day is to HIIT it and keep marching forth, literally! High intensity interval training has been a hot topic lately.  No need to overdo it because everyone is doing it. That’s the beauty of HIIT.  Just 10,000 steps each day and 3 Ellipse Fitness training sessions each week are fundamental to achieving results.   Boxing, strength, and interval training are cornerstones of our program design.  We do more than train you. We educate you!  Learn how to use your body instead of abuse it with our HIIT sessions in a way that is safe, effective, and so much FUN!

  1. Surround yourself with like-minded people

Research supports the fact that we are often a product of our environment.  It’s difficult not to adopt the habits and values of those we spend the most time with.  Choosing a healthy lifestyle means choosing a community of commitment, positivity, and empowerment.  Ellipse believes that we are stronger, healthier, and better together.

Consistency is key.  Start with a positive mindset and a strong goal. Add a Shake, Salad, and a Starch.  Finally, get moving. HIIT it! We will design a safe, effective, comprehensive, and fun program just for you.  So, SSS + HIIT  = SssHIIT yourself fit!  It works.  No sh*t.  There is plenty of success to go around and YOU have exactly what it takes to succeed.

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Taking Fish Oil?

First of all, let’s discuss what Fish Oil is. Fish oil is jam packed with Omega-3 fatty acids that are derived from the tissues of oily fish. Ideally, you should take about 6 grams of Fish Oil everyday.

In creating this habit, you are aiding in reducing pain and inflammation in the body. Fish Oil contains Omega 3 fatty acids, particularly EPA, which has a very positive effect on your inflammatory response. We recommend taking fish oil as a key aid in combatting muscle soreness.

Fish Oil also has benefits for your cardiovascular health in lowering cholesterol, triglycerides, LDLs and blood pressure levels, while at the same time increasing good HDL cholesterol. Let’s not leave out that this all lowers your risk of having a stroke or a heart attack.

Research shows Omega-3 fatty acids break up clots before they can cause any damage.
Omega-3 fatty acids are “good fats” that are essential for optimal health. Like vitamins and minerals, omega-3 must be provided by our diet as it is not produced by our bodies. EPA and DHA are the active forms of omega-3 required by the body to perform vital functions.

If you have more questions about how to implement Fish Oil into your daily regiment or workout program, please consult your Ellipse Fitness trainer. It is essential that as you begin taking Fish Oil, you start slow and at a lower dose than 6 grams daily to allow your system to adjust to the intake of the fatty oils and absorb them properly.

Healthy Snacking

Coach Cujo at Ellipse Fitness Allouez started with us only last month! Since his first day, he has wowed us and graced us with his great knowledge. Cujo is ACSM certified as a Exercise Physiologist. Today, we’ve decided to share with you this awesome information Cujo brought to his studio in Allouez. Here’s what he had to say about HEALTHY SNACKING! (Save this information and use it to your advantage during cravings!)

“Healthy Snacking is almost imperative to master if you want to achieve your health and fitness goals. If you go through your workout with little or no food before and/or after exercising you won’t get the full benefits of the workout, and you’ll likely have more soreness and fatigue than you should. If your body begins ‘starving’ it will go into survival mode and pack on more fat from the meals you do eat. And finally, if you mentally deprive yourself of all your cravings you will eventually quit whatever routine you are building – or you will go crazy trying to stick to it!”

Here are a few tips for things people commonly experience:

1. Are you feeling light-headed or weak during or immediately following your workout?

Try having a snack with some healthy fats and carbs, but also a high level of protein 1 – 2 hours before your workout. This will ensure your body has the proper fuel to engage in rigorous physical activity

2. Are you suffering from extreme soreness for 24-48 hours following your workout?

Supplying your body with a source of complete protein immediately after exercise – within 1 hour, and the sooner the better – can often drastically reduce muscle soreness. If time and convenience are a limiting factor for you, try a BCAA (Branch-Chain Amino Acid) supplement that can quickly be mixed with water. During strength/power exercises your muscle fibers are literally tearing, and protein is required for them to recover and grow to prevent future muscle soreness.

3. Are you having a hard time putting your finger on what exactly it is that you are craving?

You may just be thirsty! Keep water near by and easily accessible at all times! Sometimes when you are dehydrated your body will send signals to eat what is in front of you, because it contains water! Water is 100% integral to a properly functioning body. If you are dehydrated, nothing from working out to excellent nutritional habits will help you achieve your goals!

Craving this? Substitute that!

Salty! (french fries, potato chips, etc)
Try some edamame (boiled and sprinkled with sea salt), raw snap peas (snow peas), or raw nuts! (roasted/salted nuts are ok too as long as you can control portions)

Greasy! (burger, hot dog, fried cheese)
Instead reach for smoked salmon or beef jerky – both of which don’t require refrigeration before opening! Also, a slice or two of cheese with some grapes or apple slices can just as well satisfy that craving!

Sweet! (you get the picture)
Chocolate? Try a couple small pieces of 50% or more Dark Chocolate! Cookies? A couple of figs or dates might do the trick. Ice cream? Try blending chick peas or frozen bananas with peanut butter and a few semi-sweet chocolate chips and vanilla extract for a healthier alternative.

Alcohol! (also bread)
Oatmeal or granola, nuts, or dark leafy greens can provide good substitutes for the micronutrients you might be craving.

Maybe you are just bored or need to unwind? Try a bath (add Epsom Salt for sore muscles!), go for a walk at sunset or any other activity that gets fresh air into your lungs, and if it’s too cold? Play a game with a friend, child or spouse that forces you to think a little!

If you find that nutrition is one thing that you keep getting stuck on, ask about our Results in 42 program! 6-weeks of working with a coach to get back on track and pick up some new tips along the way.

Fitness Tip of the Week: Sandbag Plank Drag

The Sandbag Plank with Drag is an awesome strength exercise for both the core and the shoulders.

1. Begin in a plank position with your feet wide apart and your sandbag to one side of your body.

2. Bring the opposite arm under your body, palm up, to reach the outside handle of the bag.

3. Drag the bag under your body (keeping your hips flush to the floor) and release the bag to the opposite side of your body.

4. Repeat with opposite hand.

To make this move more intense, bring your feet closer together or increase the weight of your sandbag. To modify this move drop to your knees.

Skinny Turkey-Vegetable Soup

Skinny Turkey –Vegetable Soup

2 Medium Onions, chopped
2 Medium Carrots, chopped
2 Celery Ribs, chopped
½ Cup Chopped Sweet Red Pepper
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
4 Cups Water
1 Can (10 oz) Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, undrained
½ Cup Frozen Peas
1 Bay Leaf
4 Tsp. Sodium-free Chicken Bouillon Granules
½ Tsp. Dried Basil
½ Tsp. Dried Thyme
¼ Tsp. Ground Cumin
¼ Tsp. Pepper
¼ to ½ Tsp. Hot Sauce (optional)
½ Cup Uncooked Whole Wheat Orzo Pasta
2 Cups Cubed Cooked Turkey Meat
1 Tbsp. Minced Fresh Cilantro

Directions: In a large saucepan, sauté onions, carrots, celery, and red pepper in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes longer. Stir in water, tomatoes, peas, bay leaf, bouillon, basil, thyme, cumin, pepper, and pepper sauce if desired. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Cook orzo according to package directions; drain. Stir orzo and turkey into soup; heat through. Discard bay leaf. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Serves: 6
Exchanges: 2 Lean Protein, 1 Carb, 1 Vegetable, 1 Fat

PLANNING for the Holiday Feasts!

It happens every year about this time. The air gets nippier, the days get shorter — and the jeans you ROCKED this Fall may start getting tighter.

Ready or not, feasting season is here — that endless time of temptation that starts with Halloween candy and continues with Thanksgiving stuffing and pies, cookie exchanges and holiday party indulgences, and of course New Year’s toasts and dips of cream cheese concoctions.

Even beyond Jan. 1, there are Super Bowl chips (Green and Gold if you’re a PACKER fan!) and Valentine’s Day chocolate to contend with.

Basically, it’s a 4-month feeding frenzy!

Statistics for how much weight Americans tend to gain during the end-of-the-year festivities vary from 1 pound to 10, but it’s undoubtedly a tough time for anyone trying to eat healthfully.

And then there’s exercise. Add in the time demands of the holidays and the urge to stay inside because of the weather, and you have a recipe for more couch potatoes in the making.

With all this working against us, just how can we keep from overeating and under exercising during the frenzy?

Here are 5 tips to get you through the Holidays!

1. Make a date to work out! Find someone with like-minded goals and a similar schedule and commit to working out together 3-4x a week! The commitment to another can sometimes be the reason you roll out of bed instead of rolling over!

2. When visiting a friend’s house for their holiday buffet. Make only one trip and confirm that no food touches any other food on your plate! Controlling the portion sizes of those holiday indulgences will make getting back on track that much easier!

3. Enjoy a glass of ice water several times throughout the day! Ice water upon waking tells your metabolism “time to wake up”! Ice water before you leave for the party will help you have a feeling of fullness. Ice water between the spirits will cut down on the high calories of alcoholic beverages!

4. PLAN PLAN PLAN—Plan to eat healthy whenever you can during this busy season! Not only will you find yourself less likely to eat mindless calories, you can plan for indulgences and not deal with the guilt of over eating!

5. Don’t beat yourself up or GIVE up, based on one incident! Get back on track! Life isn’t a perfect circle! You’re going to go off track or mismanage a perfectly planned evening. Get over it! Wake up, drink your ice water, and get to the gym and MOVE ON!

The Final Truth

Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle both in and outside of the fall/winter-feasting season. Constant weight gains and losses can be harmful to your health and your psyche. 

The best way to survive the feasting season? Keep in mind that celebrations are really about family and friends — not food.