Monthly Archives: October 2014

30 10, 2014

Too Much of a Good Thing

October 30th, 2014|Endurance, Personal Training|Comments Off on Too Much of a Good Thing

By Randy Leopando

A little exercise is good for you, so more must be better, right? Well, sometimes. And sometimes more is just that — more. There comes a point of diminishing returns or, worse, a point where your body says “Enough!”

Everyone reaches this point at different times. Triathletes, for example, are able to withstand the rigors of three-sport training — running, cycling and swimming — at levels unthinkable to most. For others, an extra step class or hitting the weights too hard can put them over the top. In the quest for better health and fitness, it is sometimes difficult to quell one’s enthusiasm and take a break from exercise. But if exercise is leaving you more exhausted than energized, you could be suffering from an acute case of overtraining.

Know the Signs
It’s important to be able to recognize the signs of overtraining before they become chronic. Physical signs of overtraining include:

  • decreased performance
  • loss of coordination
  • prolonged recovery
  • elevated morning heart rate
  • elevated resting blood pressure
  • headaches
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle soreness/tenderness
  • gastrointestinal disturbances
  • decreased ability to ward off infection
  • increased incidence of musculoskeltal injuries
  • disturbed sleep patterns

Keep in mind that not all of the signs of overtraining are physical. Much like regular exercise has a positive effect on mood and stress levels, too much exercise can do just the opposite, leaving the exerciser irritable and depressed, particularly as the quality of the workouts declines. Psychological and emotional signs of overtraining include depression, apathy, difficulty concentrating, emotional sensitivity and reduced self-esteem.

Understand the Cause
Once you recognize the symptoms of overtraining, it’s important to understand and honestly confront the cause. For some, overtraining occurs as a result of an upcoming competition. Increased training prior to an event is understandable, but if it’s interfering with your health and wellbeing, you have to question its worth. The solution may be as easy as reducing the rate at which you increase your training intensity. The body needs sufficient time to adjust to your increased demands. Triathletes don’t start out running 10 miles, cycling 100 miles and swimming 1,000 meters all at once. They gradually increase their training to allow their bodies to adapt.

For others, the basis for overtraining may have more to do with emotional or psychological reasons than physical ones. Much like eating disorders, exercise addiction is now recognized as a legitimate problem. Exercising beyond the point of exhaustion, while injured, or to the exclusion of all other aspects of one’s life — these are some of the signs of exercise addiction. It’s a difficult problem to recognize, particularly in a culture where discipline and control are lauded.

Individuals who exercise excessively are risking more than poor performance: They’re risking their health. Overuse syndrome, which may lead to more serious injuries, is common. And the emotional cost of isolating oneself in order to exercise can be devastating. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself or in a friend, it is essential that you seek professional help.

The ‘M’ Word
The key, it seems, to staying healthy is to do everything in moderation, which is best viewed as something relative to one’s own fitness level and goals. Don’t expect to exercise an hour every day simply because your very fit friend does. The body needs time to adjust, adapt and, yes, even recuperate. Exercising to the point of overtraining is simply taking one step forward, two steps back — not exactly good training tactics.

28 10, 2014

Exercise Pairings

October 28th, 2014|Fitness n' Fuel|Comments Off on Exercise Pairings

When designing a workout, we take care to plan exercises that will compliment each other, allow you to perform every move well and promote balance. Here is an example of how to pair moves effectively that add up to a total body workout! Be sure to watch the demo for an explanation of why these exercises work well together and how to do them correctly.

Opposing movements below include: push/pull, opposing muscle groups, high vs low intensity, upper body/lower body, flexion/extension.

Push up – 12
Prone lat pull – 12
Good mornings – 12
Static Lunges -12 each side
Repeat set 3x
Burpees – 8
Inch worms – 8
Repeat x3
Rev sliding planks – 12
Squats with alt rotation – 20 total
Single leg v-up – 12 total
Superman – 10
Repeat 3x
Lateral bounds – 20
Alt Lateral lunge – 12 total
Repeat 3x
27 10, 2014

Nutrient Food Pairings

October 27th, 2014|Nutrition|Comments Off on Nutrient Food Pairings

Food and Nutrient variety – is key to a well-balanced, healthy diet.

Vitamin C can help the body absorb Iron.

Foods High In

Vit. C

Foods High in


  • Lemon Juice/Lean Red Meat
  • Oranges/Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Strawberries w/Tuna/Salmon
  • Bell Peppers w/ Beans/Nuts/Legumes
  • Sweet Potato w/Whole Grains

Calcium (from things like low-fat/nonfat dairy) decreases the absorption of Iron.


Plant-Based Proteins to make a Complete Protein

*Complete Protein provides all of the amino acids that the body needs for normal health and function.

    • Red Beans and Brown Rice
    • Whole Grain Bread and Peanut Butter
    • Chickpea hummus made w/ sesame tahini
    • Yogurt and Walnuts Pair Carbohydrates with Protein                         **They don’t have to be consumed at the same time to provide the benefit of a complete protein.


    • Help to raise and stabilize blood sugar/energy levels.
    • Optimum combination for recovery after exercise.
    • Feel full for longer than with Carb alone.


Sample Combinations:

    • Piece of Fruit with Hardboiled Egg
  • Low-fat/nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • Apple with Peanut Butter
  • Whole Grain Cracker and Low-fat String Cheese
  • Fruit and Cottage Cheese
20 10, 2014

Taste Sensations

October 20th, 2014|Nutrition|Comments Off on Taste Sensations

We all know our basic taste sensations: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.  What about Umami?

Umami is a pleasant savory taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid, which naturally occurs in many foods including meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products. The taste of umami is subtle and blends well with other tastes to expand and round out other flavors.

Umami Rich Foods


    • Tuna
    • seaweed
    • mackerel
    • Cod
    • Prawns
    • Squid
    • Oysters
    • Shellfish


  • Tomatoes
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Truffles
  • Soy beans
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Carrots


  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Chicken


  • Parmesan cheese
  • Green tea
  • Soy sauce
  • Egg

Umami pairings that enhance Flavors!

Salmon & Cardamom

How to pair it: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon orange juice, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom in a small saucepan over medium-low until honey is melted, about 1 minute. Place 4 center-cut salmon fillets skin side-down on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and brush with half the cardamom mixture. Bake 5 minutes, brush on remaining glaze, and cook for another 5 minutes or until center of the fish is just cooked through. (Serves 4)


Avocado & cocoa  The creamy avocado and bitter cocoa pair well in puddings or ice cream. The key is to use fruit that are not too hard or too soft to avoid an overly strong avocado-y flavor.

How to pair it: Combine flesh of 2 avocados, 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk, 1 large banana, 1/3 cup each honey and cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon each vanilla extract and cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne or chili powder in a blender until smooth. Chill mixture at least 4 hours, then process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. (Serves 6)

Beef & blueberries  Berries in burgers impart a sweetness that compliments the richness of the beef.

How to pair it: In a large bowl, mix 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (large berries halved), 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon each cumin powder and Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Add 1 pound ground sirloin and gently mix until just combined. Form into 4 patties and grill over medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Serve on buns topped with favorite condiments and vegetables. (Serves 4)

Brie & peanut butter  Brie cheese and peanut butter turns an ordinary grilled cheese into a gooey, creamy masterpiece.

How to pair it: Spread 1 tablespoon each natural peanut butter and strawberry jam on a slice of crusty bread. Top with 1 ounce brie cheese, 1 handful arugula, and another slice bread. Heat olive or canola oil in a skillet over low heat. Add sandwich and heat until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. (Serves 1)

Beets & Tahini   Beets lend traditional hummus more flavor as well as a vibrant color. Serve with crunchy sliced veggies, tortilla chips, or chunks of toasted pita.

How to pair it: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap 3 beats tightly in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 1 hour or until very tender. When cool enough to handle, scrub off skins with a paper towel. Purée in a food processor with 1 can (14 ounces) rinsed and drained chickpeas, 3 tablespoons tahini; 1 teaspoon each cumin, lemon zest, and lemon juice; 2 chopped garlic cloves; and 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth. Transfer hummus to a serving bowl and garnish with crumbled goat cheese and chopped chives. (Serves 8)

20 10, 2014

Carrot and Raisin Pancake

October 20th, 2014|Recipe|Comments Off on Carrot and Raisin Pancake

Ingredients ½ cup shredded carrots                                                                                                 1 teaspoon water                                                                                                                                     2 tablespoons raisins                                                                                                                               1 teaspoon brown sugar                                                                                                                          1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled                                                                             1 cup milk (unsweetened, non-dairy milks are fine, too)                                                                1 large egg                                                                                                                                                 1 cup white whole-wheat flour                                                                                                               1½ teaspoons baking powder                                                                                                               1 teaspoon cinnamon                                                                                                                            ¼ teaspoon salt                                                                                                                              Maple syrup and/or fresh berries (optional accompaniments)


  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and put it into a small bowl. Place with a brush near the stove or griddle.
  2. Heat an 8-inch frying pan (or use a pancake griddle) on low heat while you prepare other ingredients.
  3. In a small microwaveable bowl, combine carrots and water. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until carrots are slightly soft and pliable. Mix in the raisins and brown sugar. Set aside.
  4. In another small bowl, mix together the butter, milk and egg until incorporated.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  6. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, using the whisk to fold in the ingredients. Fold in the carrot-raisin mixture with the whisk. (It’s OK if there are some small lumps in the batter.)
  7. Increase heat under frying pan to medium-low and brush some melted butter onto the pan; the butter should start to gently bubble.
  8. Pour 1⁄4 cup pancake mixture onto the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes. When the middle of the pancake bubbles, use a thin metal spatula to flip the pancake. Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until light brown.

Tip: You can freeze these and reheat in the microwave (about a minute each) for a quick and easy breakfast.

Nutritional Information Serving size: 6-inch pancake Calories 102; Total fat 3g; Sat. fat 2g; Chol. 30mg; Sodium 193mg; Carb. 16g; Fiber 2g; Sugars 4g; Protein 4g; Potassium 150mg; Phosphorus 119mg


Food & Nutrition Magazine, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

20 10, 2014

Tex-Mex Tomato & Bean Soup

October 20th, 2014|Recipe|Comments Off on Tex-Mex Tomato & Bean Soup

Makes 6 servings


2 carrots, chopped (or 1c shredded)

1c celery, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 3/4c)

1T olive oil

1 med onion, chopped (1c)

¼ t salt

1 large can (28oz) no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2c cilantro leaves, chopped

2 T sriracha

1/4c lime juice

3 corn tortillas (6”), sliced into ¼- inch strips

6T non fat Greek yogurt (optional)

1 sliced avocado (optional)



  1. Place carrots, celery and bell pepper in small microwave bowl. Add ¼ c water, cover top of bowl and microwave on high for 5 minutes or until vegetables are just tender.
  2. Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add steamed vegetables and season with salt. Sauté and additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly caramelized.
  3. Add tomatoes with juice and water. Add beans, cilantro, and sriracha. Stir to blend, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook 25-30 minutes. Add lime juice.
  4. Top each serving with tortilla strips and a tablespoon of plain non fat Greek yogurt and 2-3 slices of avocado.

Nutrition: 20 5 calories, 8g protein, 34g carb, 7.5g fiber, 3.7g fat, 236mg sodium

Adapted from Prevention Magazine


1 10, 2014

October Fitness'n Fuel

October 1st, 2014|Fitness n' Fuel|Comments Off on October Fitness'n Fuel

This month we challenge you to re-think cardio! Using high intensity intervals in shorts bursts is more effective than a steady state workout and will burn more calories during, and after. The circuits below are designed to be 24 to 32 minutes and a great alternative for those of us that dread “cardio”. Try it with or without the equipment but be ready to sweat!

The format is 30 secs work/30 secs rest of exercises 1-4. Take a 1 minute rest between rounds and complete a total of 6-8. Don’t forget to start with a dynamic warm up.
1. alternating rope waves
2. BOSU burpee press
3. slam ball squats
4. jump rope
No equipment:
1. Jumping jacks
2. Burpees
3. Tuck jumps
4. Lateral hops
Big thanks to FNF cameraman and Director of Personal Training at NutriFormance, Randy Leopando, for helping us demo the moves this month! Enjoy!