lose weight

4 Lean, Healthy Meals in 5 Minutes!

Need some quick and easy weekday meals? Weekend prep doesn’t have to be some arduous marathon requiring hours of time and every pot and pan in your kitchen! This week we’ve got 4 quick and easy recipes that you can crank out in a flash and feel happy about your meals without agonizing labor!

This week start by buying 4 pounds of Ground Turkey. Brown 3 pounds, cool and separate into 1 pound containers to freeze. With your fourth make these Veggie Loaded Meatballs!

Delicious meatballs packed with broccoli, carrots, baby spinach, green onions, and garlic! Just swap out the beef for to keep things simpler this week!

First? Go Shopping!

Here’s your grocery list for all 4 recipes!

• 4 Pounds Ground Turkey
• Rice (cook ahead if possible!)
• 1 Bag Favorite Frozen Veggies
• Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles, found at most grocery stores in the produce section)
• 1 pound Carrots
• 2 pounds Broccoli
• 2 heads garlic
• 1 small ginger root
• 1 small bag of Baby Spinach
• 1 bunch Green Onion
• 2 Avocados
• Flax Meal (only need 2 TBSP)
• 1 can Tomatoes
• 1 can Black Beans
• 1 pack Taco Seasoning
• 1 pack Ranch Seasoning
• Soy Sauce
• Chili Paste
• Plain Greek Yogurt

Optional Extras:

• 1 can low sodium Cream of Chicken Soup
• Feta Cheese
• Fresh Parsley or Basil
• Hot Sauce

(Creamy?) Turkey and Veggies

Ground Turkey + 1 Bag Frozen Vegetables + Dry Ranch Seasoning
(or substitute YOUR favorite seasoning combo)

Thaw one of your pounds of turkey, toss in a pan with a bag of your favorite frozen vegetables, and your seasoning!

Need a more “comforting” taste? Add up to a can of a low sodium cream of chicken soup and maybe serve over rice or quinoa!

Zoodles + Meatballs

Save time by buying a container of zoodles (zucchini noodles) since they are now quite common in most produce departments. Rewarm your meatballs in the oven or toaster oven while sautéing zoodles with olive and seasonings.

Get an added veggie boost by tossing in a handful or two of spinach. Serve as is or get creative with some tossed feta cheese or fresh parsley and/or basil!

Speedy Stir Fry

Ground Turkey + Onion + Broccoli + Carrots + Chili Paste

Combine some garlic, soy sauce, and ginger with ground turkey and set aside.
Stir Fry onions, broccoli, and carrots in vegetable oil.
Remove from the pan to a bowl.
Reheat turkey and sauce, recombine with veggies, and add chili paste.

Speed up this recipe even more by buying a bag of pre cut broccoli from your produce department or a “stir fry raw mix”. Rice could be pulled from the freezer and microwaved.

Full recipe here!

Rapido Burrito Bowl

Ground Turkey + Tomatoes + Black Beans + Avocado

Heat turkey and add taco seasoning. In a bowl combine rice, taco turkey, tomatoes, black beans, diced avocado and a sauce made of plain Greek yogurt and hot sauce.

Full recipe here!


Goals! You just gotta have ’em!

It’s well into the new year and whether you had a resolution or not, you may have goals that have not come to fruition. It might just be how you went about forming your goal in the first place! Let’s talk about how to set solid and attainable goals.

Here’s a great example that I know many of us could work on: “I want to drink ½ my bodyweight in ounces of water every day for the next 30 days.” There is a how much, how often, and it is realistic!

Set a Deadline!

Just like an open-ended work project, you will likely keep pushing it off knowing you can do it tomorrow…or never. Consider having both short term and longer-term goals ranging from this week to 6 weeks to 6 months to a year. Your long term goals can have shorter sub-goals within them that will help you reach them – get creative! Just be sure to set a deadline.

Write it Down!

Why is your goal important to you? WRITE it down. If it doesn’t make you tear up a bit, it may not be important enough for you to follow through with! In the example above, drinking water, maybe you’ve been excessively fatigued, and you regularly walk around dehydrated. Your fatigue causes you to say no to playing with your kids, getting your “me” time running with your friend, or missing other life events that are important to you.

Writing goals and the “why” for them makes everything more real, and when goals are more real they are more attainable!

Be Prepared to Sacrifice!

Not everything of course! But if it required no changes to achieve your goal well, you’d have already achieved it now wouldn’t you?

You may want to ask yourself, “Is this something I’m willing to give up what I want NOW for what I want MOST?” If it’s not, you may not be ready for your goal. In our example of water, you may be craving that coffee, soda, or other habitual food/snack that is taking you away from your goal. There will be challenges along the way, but choosing rewarding goals will ultimately overcome and outweigh any strife involved in reaching them. Just make sure your goals are healthy and realistic!

Confide in Someone!

Share your goal with a confidant; a friend, your trainer, a family member, or someone you feel safe with but accountable to. Be sure to communicate to the person you share it with that you want them to hold you accountable! And that you want them to call you out if you are not taking proper steps toward your goal or perhaps taking steps away from it. One more thing that’s very important – don’t get mad at them for taking you seriously!

List Action Steps!

List at least 3 action steps you are going to take in order to achieve your goal. In the case of drinking more water:
1) I am going to buy a 40 ounce water bottle and make sure to consume 2 (assuming ~160 lbs person) servings a day.
2) I am going to keep the bottle with me wherever I go so I don’t have a reason not to sip regularly.
3) I will start by drinking 12 ounces of water first thing in the morning when I wake up.

Of course you can list more than 3 steps, you can even list steps you can take daily to move in the right direction, but the purpose of the exercise is not to get discouraged by those lofty goals you’ve set. Bring them down to Earth by listing concrete steps you can take to make them happen!

Please stop dieting!

Please stop dieting!

Everyone needs muscle. You need it to keep your metabolism as high as possible so you maximize fat burning.

Older folks, like our grandparents, need muscle for daily activities (from walking to gardening or even bike rides). It’s also important to be able to bend, stoop and move freely.

Young folks, like you and I, need muscle to look sexy. Because that’s what we do. We just sit around all day looking sexy, right? Tough life, I know. But hey, we’re good at it!

—Anyway, there are a few factors in avoiding muscle loss.

First, you must lift weights with the right amount of intensity and volume.

Another factor, dieting, is where most people go wrong (unless they are doing too much steady state cardio – that’s the big exercise no-no, of course).

So what’s the best diet to use?

One where you cut your calories every day? Or one that allows you to eat healthfully seven days per week?
Does the best diet demand that you eat obsessively and compulsively? Or can you just eat like a normal human being?

The good news is that you can eat normal healthy foods and just pay some extra attention to your protein intake and you can keep your metabolism rev’d up 24/7!

Questions? Give us a call or send an email – www.ellipsefitness.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Spinach Dip

Spinach Dip
1 12 oz. Carton of Low-fat Cottage Cheese
1 10 oz. Package of Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed
1 8 oz. Can Water Chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/2 Cup FF Chobani Greek Yogurt
1 Packet of Dry Vegetable Soup Mix
1/4 Cup of Chopped Onion
1 Tsp. Lemon Juice

Directions: Add cottage cheese to a food Processor and process until smooth. Transfer cottage cheese to a bowl. Meanwhile, drain spinach and press between paper towels until barely moist. Add spinach, water chestnuts, and all remaining ingredients to cottage cheese, stir well. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. Serve with Melba rounds or fresh vegetables.

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

The Metabolic Effect & Large Group Training

This study was posted by my friends at The Metabolic Effect in North Carolina.  Here is a study that gives us insight to what it takes to change.  It asked a group of participants to exercise for 20 minutes at some point over the next week.


Group 1: Got the instructions above with no other details

Group 2: Were asked to exercise for 20 minutes in the next week and also given detailed information on how exercise helps reduce risk of disease.

Group 3: This group was asked to exercise at some time in the next week. They were also told what day, what time and given a specific location to do it.


Which group was most compliant?

Group 1= 29% did the exercise

Group 2= 39% did the exercise

Group 3= 91% did the exercise


What does this tell us about change and routines?

I like this study for what I would consider obvious reasons.  For one I LOVE group exercise, now called Large Group Training.  Although I’m involved in the programming at Ellipse and have a pretty large “say” in what we do and I can go to the studio even when it’s closed, my preference is STILL to go to the studio when it’s busy and take a class with other like minded people!  I like working out with a group and I like being told what to do in class!  Fitness can be a confusing subject and if you talk to 5 pros you could get 5 answers on what’s “best”. From yoga to functional to meat head lifting, the waters to navigate fitness can be choppy.  Unless you have A LOT of time to study and research, you’re bound to be confused, or worse yet…just walk away.  The other thing with fitness…you NEED to be open minded, because things change FAST! Crunches are out, planks are in. But now it’s no longer just holding a static plank, but we’re moving in the position, sometimes even lifting weight.

If you don’t have the time or patience to navigate all the fitness nuances out there, don’t worry.  Just take a great class and let someone else worry about the research.  Even if you’re traveling and can’t get near an Ellipse, you’ll never regret a work out, right?  Who knows, you may just be reminded of why you LOVE Large group training, too.

Dropping Belly Fat!

You’re working out hard 4 times per week, you’re watching what you eat and giving up the extra desserts – so why isn’t your midsection hard as a rock by now?

You’re not alone in your frustration.  Sixty-two percent of women say the body part they’re most self-conscious about is their belly.

As women age, their estrogen decreases and subcutaneous body fat  (the fat we see under the skin in our thighs, hips, buttocks, abdomen) tends to shift from the arms, legs and hips to the abdomen.  Where your body stores its fat depends partly on your genes, which we can’t control, and partly on your lifestyle, which we can control!

Although we can’t spot reduce fat (reducing fat in a specific body part), we can reduce our overall percentage of body fat through several methods:

1. Getting 6-8 hours of sleep helps to balance the production of the hormones ghrelin and leptin that regulate appetite.

2.  Managing your stress, thereby reducing the cortisol levels that can prevent body fat loss (especially around the midsection).  While you can’t always control the stress in your life, you can modify your response to it.

3.  Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and lean protein and low-fat dairy products.

4.  Watch your sugar intake!  Scientists at the University of Minnesota found that diet sodas and fake sugars (including those in alcohol) may increase your risk for metabolic syndrome, which results in higher levels of belly fat, blood sugar, and cholesterol.

5.  Keep meal portion sizes in check.  If you eat more than you burn, the unused calories turn into fat that gets stored in your belly (and elsewhere).

6.  Weight and resistance train twice per week to reduce subcutaneous fat (the fat we can see).

7.  Include vigorous aerobic activity to reduce both the fat we can see (Subcutaneous) and the fat around our organs (Visceral).

A 2006 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism suggests that combining cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise with resistance training is more effective than cardiovascular training alone in getting rid of abdominal fat so get to those combination workouts!

You can tone abdominal muscles with bicycles, planks and other targeted abdominal exercises, but these exercises won’t get rid of belly fat. To fight back the bulge, stick to the basics: focus on what you eat and how you exercise.

Which First? Weights or Cardio?

At Ellipse, we design our workouts to take care of the cross training for you by providing both weight lifting and cardio training at intervals that are safe and effective for your overall health and fitness.

We understand that many of our members enjoy going for a brisk walk, bike ride, playing tennis or going for a run, especially during these warm summer months.  The question becomes, should you still workout at Ellipse on the days of your other physical activities?  Assuming you are not over training, than absolutely, however the order of your workouts will make a difference.

We recommend that the most intensive training be done first, when you’re at your best.  On Tuesday and Thursday weight lifting days, it is best to lift weights before you move onto your cardio activity for several reasons.

Heavy weight lifting alerts your muscles to trigger the proteins that churn through calories while you train. The body will always burn through its sugar source first before it taps into the fat.  Weight training will enable you to burn thru that sugar source efficiently, allowing additional cardio work to burn thru the fat.

If however, you only have time for one activity, then choose weights instead of cardio.  That sounds counterintuitive, since we feel sweating is “proof” we’re losing fat. However, you will build more muscle and therefore lose more fat overall by heavy weight lifting, than by going for a run.   Enjoy your summer and happy training!

Getting “Back to the Future”

You control the life and future you are going to have!! If you know what you are doing isn’t working change it RIGHT NOW with help from us!!

I LOVE September at Ellipse!  It’s one of my favorite months! EVERYONE is BACK with game faces on!  Summer is great and a total party for most of us, but let’s face it—it’s EASY to get off track!

Some more than others, and some WAY more or less than others!

But ya know what!

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 we all start with a clean slate!

Whether you’ve been out of habit with workouts, or kept up with the workouts, but perhaps your nutrition took a nose-dive—it doesn’t matter!

September is the new January and I’m challenging you to take the bull by the horns and get back into action!  No excuses and No Regrets!

It’s such a blessing to work out with like-minded people in a positive environment, so just take a turn using the “Life isn’t a Perfect Circle” mantra and get your game face on.

You’re in control of your future!

You are responsible for the outcome!

Can’t wait to share in your triumphs!

Lisa 🙂


New Math = 100%

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100 percent? Haven’t we all been to a meeting where someone wants us to give more than 100 percent? I’ve heard coaches in class say it, “Come on everybody, let’s work to 110%!!”

How does one achieve 101 or 110 percent? What adds up to 100 percent in our personal and professional lives?

Here’s a little mathematical formula I read recently that will answer those questions:
are represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty, that while Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, Attitude makes all the difference.

So…we are coming up on the season that challenges all of us! We’re hosting a Holiday Hold ‘Em Challenge at Ellipse, too! This challenge is UNIQUE…don’t gain weight for 5 weeks and win $25! If you gain weight, the “house” wins and the $25 goes to Harbor House or the Ronald McDonald house!!

Adjust your attitude and bring 100% for a few months, it will make ALL the difference!