Sizzlin’ Summer Grill Tips

1 Aug

What better way to enjoy the warm summer weather than by lighting up the grill?  Here are a couple tips and ideas you may want to keep in mind the next time you fire up the barbeque.

1.  Beware of Burnt
Although it can taste great, charred areas of grilled foods contain carcinogenic chemicals known as HCAs, or heterocyclic amines.   Research by the National Cancer Institute found that people who eat well-done or charred beef are 3 times more likely to develop cancer than those who eat it rare or medium-rare.  But it is also important to remember that pregnant women should always eat meat that is cooked all the way through.

Did You Know?
Marinating meat is one way to reduce toxic compounds by up to 90%.
Here is a delicious and healthy marinade for meat & vegetables.

2. BBQ chicken: A healthy choice?
Many of us tend to reach for the typically leaner Barbeque chicken in lieu of a cheeseburger.  But did you know that just 2 servings of BBQ sauce can pack up to 44 grams of sugar?  (The World Health Organization recommends 50 grams of sugar daily.)  Just 4 tablespoons of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce contains a whopping 140 calories and 32 grams of sugar!  That’s the amount of sauce used on just a couple pieces of chicken. Try to reach for grilled chicken and dip it in BBQ sauce or marinate chicken in the above recipe for delicious and sugar-free flavoring.

3. This meat vs. that 
There is a way to eat steak and still fit into your bathing suit, too!  You just have to pick a leaner cut of beef.  Go with a 4-oz cut of top sirloin beef with 11 grams of fat over a  4-oz Porterhouse cut, which packs 25 grams of fat!

4.  Yes, you can have dessert!
Many people don’t think of fruits as foods to throw on the grill but they can be so delicious when grilled.  Peaches, plums, nectarines, and pineapple are especially good.  When grilled, their sugars caramelize and the fruit becomes even sweeter!

Lay fruit cut side down and grill 1-2 minutes per side or until fruit is tender with light brown grill marks.  Eat alone, drizzled with 1 T maple syrup, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a sweet summer treat!

What are some of 
YOUR favorite healthy grilling recipes?

“He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything.”
 –Arabic Proverb

Cool it!

17 Jun

Like many people who exercise, I choose my work-out songs with great care.  I want upbeat, fast-paced songs to encourage myself to keep my energy up and push through.  You can find my favorite work-out playlists as well as other celebrities’ in my earlier posts.  But what I also carefully select are my cool-down songs.  For me, these songs put closure on my work-out and set my mood for the rest of the day.  I came across this collection of songs by EvolutionofTrance and I especially like their music because it is calming yet still energizing.  Below are 2 of my favorite tracks, but all of them are relaxing!




Which one is your favorite?

There is more to life than increasing its speed.  –Mohandas K. Gandhi

Jumpstart Your Workout

2 Mar

When was the last time you used a jump rope? Most people would probably say back when they were in Elementary School.  But jump ropes aren’t just for kids.  Jumping rope is a very effective form of cardiovascular exercise for people of all ages.

Why I love Jumping Rope: You can do it anywhere, it’s inexpensive, you can burn major calories (up to 800 in 1 hour!), it’s as challenging as you make it, it increases your agility, endurance and coordination.  And most of all… it’s FUN!

A jump rope workout targets nearly all the major muscles in a few fluid motions.  Your arms, legs, butt, abs, shoulders, and chest are all getting a good workout by jumping rope.

If you’re just beginning, using a jump rope can be a little frustrating at first.  But with practice, you will improve your coordination.

The Basics:

  • Jump 1 to 2 inches off floor, giving rope just enough space to slip under feet — only the balls of feet should touch the floor.
  • Keep elbows close to sides as you turn the rope. The movement comes from the wrists and forearms, not the shoulders.
  • To find a rope that fits, place one foot in the center of the rope and lift the handles — they shouldn’t go past your armpits.

Here are 3 ways you can mix up your jump rope routine:

1.  Alternating High Knees

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding one handle of jump rope in each hand.
  • Jump rope, bringing right knee up in front of you as close to hip height as possible while left leg skips as usual.
  • Switch legs on the next jump, bringing left knee up. (You can also kick leg forward)  Repeat.

2.  Zigzag

  • Straighten jump rope on floor. Stand with feet together to right of rope at one end, facing opposite end.
  • Jump diagonally to left side of rope, keeping feet together, then quickly jump diagonally to right side of rope.
  • Continue hopping forward in zigzag pattern until you reach other end. Reverse jumps back to start.  Repeat.

3.  Jumping Jack

  • Jump over the rope and land with feet wider than hip-width apart.
  • On your next jump, land with feet together. Repeat.

So time to find and untangle that jump rope! Don’t have one?  They’re easy to find online and in stores for under $10.  You can also go here for more information and ideas.

Everyone is an athlete. The only difference is that some of us are in training, and some are not. – Dr. George Sheehan

Exercise Hypnosis Giveaway

21 Feb

We’ve all heard about hypnotism. Hypnotism is “a state of physical relaxation accompanied and induced by mental concentration.”*  Hypnosis is based upon scientific principles which work whether or not we believe in them.  In 1958 the AMA (American Medical Association) recognized hypnosis as a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of medical and behavioral problems.  Among these is one thing we all struggle with:  the lack of motivation to exercise.

While I was researching methods to gain ambition to exercise, I came across a series of hypnosis CDs created by Kym Tolson, who is a certified Hypnotherapist, Licensed Therapist, and Certified Substance Abuse Counselor.  I became very curious about her ‘Exercise More’ Hypnosis CD, and I decided to try it out myself.  The session was only 47 minutes long, and I found it to be very helpful and motivational.  It changed my thinking about exercising and now makes working out even more enjoyable.  The session made me feel relaxed and rejuvenated.  I felt great afterwards!  I’ve listened to it 3 times now, and each time it gets easier to become relaxed and feel energized to get moving.

You could win a Hypnosis Mp3 download!
…a $16.99 value for Free!

Here’s how to enter:
(3 easy steps)

1. Subscribe to my blog (on the lower right side of this page).
2. Visit Kym’s online shop and choose which Mp3 download you would like to win.
3. Comment on this post with your first name, e-mail address, and the Hypnosis CD of your choice.

Only one viewer will win. Hurry, the giveaway ends Febuary 15th!

Here is Kym’s online shop where you can view her products and read great reviews from her customers.

Here is her blog where you can also sign up for a newsletter to receive deals and updates about new products.

*James Braid, author of Neurypnology

Eat This, Get Fat

24 Jan

A single piece of low-fat zucchini bread. Just one seemingly harmless slice of loaf packed with shredded green vegetable.  Think this is a healthy anytime snack?

Whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain weight, or just maintain a healthy weight, the concept of calorie density is important to understand.

Caloric Density refers to the number of calories per gram of a food.  “Calorie dense foods, such as fat and refined sugars, provide many calories in a small amount of food. Foods with low calorie density — fruits, vegetables — provide fewer total calories and greater nutrition in a larger volume of food.

Studies have shown that diets based on low calorie density foods tend to be more healthy and effective for weight management.”

So what does calorie density actually look like? Let’s compare some different types of foods:

How many calories do you think are in the piece of low-fat zucchini bread pictured above?

For the same amount of calories in a single piece of low-fat zucchini bread (580), you could eat all of this.






Here are 2 different versions of what 720 calories looks like:

And here are 2 different breakfasts totaling 650 calories:

Which would YOU rather eat?

So no, 1 piece of zucchini bread will not make you fat.  But understanding calorie density allows us to look at food in a whole different way.  Generally, foods with the lowest calorie densities also tend to contain the most nutrients.  And foods with high calorie densities generally are comparatively low in nutrients. So keep this information in mind the next time you reach for a bite to eat!



“Those who think they have no time for healthy eating, will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” – Edward Stanley

Go to the Gym in Your Pajamas

1 Jun


Its raining, its snowing, its too hot out, its too nice of a day… there are many reasons why we put off going to the gym.  But staying at home is no excuse to not exercise!  There are so many exercises you can do at home, while watching TV, even sitting down!

Here is a list I came up of with some of my favorite exercises to do at home, and some I found online too!

-Inner Thigh Squeeze: Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.  Place an excercise ball or firm pillow between your knees and pulse thighs inward for a great inner-thigh work-out!

Balance Ball: Sit on a balance ball while working at a desk or watching TV, slowly move your hips front-to-back, side-to-side, and in circles, while keeping your abs tight.  This is a great work-out to strengthen your core!

Lie with your back on the floor, your feet up on a couch or chair, and knees bent 90 degrees.  Perform sit-ups, keeping your knees bent and feet on couch or chair.

-Bicep Curls:
Use soup cans, bottled water, or even dumbbells to do bicep curls and hammer curls.

-Laundry Lifts:
Hold the basket above your head, and lift upwards and back down. Do at least three repetitions of fifteen lifts each. If it is too heavy for you, all you have to do is take out some clothes. This exercise will work your shoulders, upper arms, and upper back muscles. Vary this workout by laying flat on your back, and lifting the basket up and down from your chest.

-Detergent Dips: Take two large bottles of laundry detergent by their handles and hold each alongside of your body.  Slowly bend to the right, lowering your right laundry detergent, while raising your left, without bending forward or backward too much.  Repeat multiple times on both sides.

-Commercial Break Work-Outs:
While you are watching TV, do some curls with five or ten pound weights. When a commercial comes on, get up for a burst of intense exercise. Do some sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, or crunches. Get your heart rate up. When the show comes back on, you can go back to the light exercise. Continue the cycle throughout your shows… every little bit counts! You will hardly realize that you are getting a workout.


“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” -Edward Stanley

Take the Stairs

6 May

We’ve all had to make the decision, even on a daily basis for some.  Take the stairs or the elevator?  For whatever reason we choose not to take the stairs, we are always finding ways to avoid them.

So why should you take the stairs?

“Stair climbing will give you a little more bang for your buck because of the vertical component,” said Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise. Compared to jogging or cycling at a moderate pace without much of an incline, stair climbing will be a bit more challenging and therefore allow you to burn more calories for that same amount of time.”

In addition, taking the stairs is a green thing to do.  You already use a resuable water bottle and recycle… why not climb stairs also?

So how many calories are actually burned by taking the stairs?

The average person can burn 45 calories, by climbing 3 flights of stairs, just 3 times per day.  Or, if you climb 4 flights of stairs, 3 times per day you burn 60 calories… just like that in probably less than a minute!

To figure out how many calories you burn taking the stairs, here is a calorie calculator.

Also check out the campaign by the Boston Public Health Commission called Take the Stairs – Every Step Counts!

“Never mind what others do; do better than yourself, beat your own record from day to day, and you are a success.”  – Wiliam J.H. Boetcker