Roasted Citrus Flounder

  • By Jason Cook
  • 11 May, 2016

Want fish in a flash? This recipe offers a healthy and delicious serving of Flounder crusted with breadcrumbs and enhanced with citrus zest. Healthy recipes like this will please your taste buds while taking you one step closer to achieving your fitness goals.

All of that hard work that you put into your workouts can quickly and easily be lost on unhealthy eating – which is why it’s so important to enjoy light, protein-filled meals like this one.

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need...
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 6 (6 oz) skinless flounder fillets (1.5 inches thick, with bones removed)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  1. Preaheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine panko, butter, parsley and citrus zest until evenly mixed. Place the fillets on the prepared baking sheet. Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Top with the panko mixture, pressing it onto the fillets.
  3. Roast until the breadcrumbs are browned and the cod is fully cooked, about 10 minutes.
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 122 calories, 3.5g fat, 10g carbohydrate, .5g fiber, and 12g protein.



EFC Blog

By Jenn Cook 13 Feb, 2017

Do you ever come across advertisements or hear some story that sounds too crazy to be true? 

And you think to yourself, “yeah right” and carry on with your daily routines? That almost happened to my husband and I.

Why should you care? Because we've discovered a medical device that will change your life for the better.


Here is a quick background to our story...


I have been an avid fitness enthusiast my entire life. A little over 5 years ago I was fortunate enough to become a certified fitness trainer.  Now I help people lead healthier, stronger lives and just feel better on daily basis. I love learning, reading and keeping up to date on what truly works and helps people with their fitness.


My husband, Jason, has been in the fitness industry for over 20 years.  He graduated college with a degree in exercise science.  Since then he has held many titles including fitness trainer, club manager and now club owner.  He also loves being in the business of helping people improve the quality of their lives.  


Since Jason is a club owner, many people contact him trying to sell some new Fitness gimmick or product promising it is the “new best thing!” We are always trying to help people so we don’t fall for all the quick fixes and gimmicks.  We know what will help people improve the quality of their lives.


So back to the beginning....


 A fellow fitness pioneer contacted Jason about a medical device that helps increase your blood flow by 29%.  When we heard about this device and how it helps people we almost thought,  “Yeah right here is another gimmick!” 


It almost seemed too good to be true. 


But we were intrigued so Jason did a ton of research on it. He liked what he found and so purchased one for our members at EFC.


The rest is history! 

We are seeing some amazing things happen for people now. I had to share this story because everyone needs to know about this device. By now I hope you’re asking..


“What does this device even do?” and “Why is it so important for my well-being?”


To start, this device is called the BEMER.


BEMER stands for Bio-Electro Magnetic Energy Regulation .


We call it " The Blood Flow Device ".

By Jason Cook 09 Feb, 2017

February is the month when we gift chocolate to our sweethearts. And while the sentiment is sweet, do you really want to give your honey a candy present that’s made with refined sugar that will stimulate weight gain and an energy crash?

Today I have a better idea for you!

It’s quite possible to create chocolate treats at home using unsweetened chocolate and a touch of wholesome sweeteners, to create an enjoyable treat that you can really feel good and giving and eating. This amazing recipe for Chocolate Drizzled Strawberries does not contain any refined sugar! Feel free to sweeten your chocolate to taste with liquid stevia until your desired sweetness level is achieved. Give it a try and see how delicious this wholesome chocolate treat is! Enjoy!

Servings: 2

Here’s what you need...

  • 1 oz unsweetened chocolate pieces or bar
  • ¼ teaspoon coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon raw honey
  • liquid stevia to taste
  • 4 large, ripe strawberries, chilled
  1. Combine the chocolate, coconut oil and honey in a double boiler over low heat. Stir until fully melted. Add stevia as needed to taste.
  2. Line a small plate with parchment paper. Drizzle the strawberries with chocolate and place on the prepared plate. Chill until serving. Enjoy!
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 89 calories, 8g fat, 7g carbohydrate, 3g sugar, 4mg sodium, 3g fiber, and 2g protein.


Courtesy of  RealHealthyRecipes.com  

By Jason Cook 26 Jan, 2017

Here’s a salad recipe that’s hearty, quick and satisfies even the pickiest of eaters! With tender, roasted chicken, flavorful black beans and sweet, tangy mango, this salad hits every flavor note without guilt. Whether you’re making a quick dinner, a lunch-to-go, or serving up a meal for company – this salad is truly a winner.

As another serving option, you could present the salad on large lettuce leaves or place over shredded green cabbage. Also feel free to experiment with the ingredients – swap out the black beans for your favorite type bean and switch up the protein from chicken to turkey or sausage. Enjoy!

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need...
  • 1 (15oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small mango, pitted, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup chopped roasted chicken, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. Enjoy!
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 287 calories, 2g fat, 24mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate, 11g fiber, and 22g protein

By Jenn Cook 22 Jan, 2017

During Christmas break I was spending some time scanning thru Facebook...

I was overcome with all the posts about how everyone was glad 2016 was ending.

This got me to think about how 2016 was for me. 

But instead of focusing on any negative stuff...

...I wanted to do the opposite. 

I am in the business of helping people change their lives for the better.  

So even though it is easy to get sucked into complaining about things, I only wanted to focus on the good stuff.

It was nice to remember good family times but I don’t want to get into that with you. 

The reason being, I had discovered two life game changers to help my family and I live a healthier and fit life.

The worst part of this is that I never shared this information on a mass basis. 

As I was reflecting on 2016 I knew it was time to hit the keyboard again and get this information out to everyone.

For now I am just going to reveal the first life changer that I discovered. 

I will reveal the second in my next blog.

So, what changed my life?

When someone I trust, recommended I read the book 

Your Body’s Many Cries for Water. You’re Not Sick; You’re Thirsty  Don’t Treat Thirst with Medication ” by  F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.  

It’s a long title for a book, but it says it all.

By Jenn Cook 08 Jan, 2017

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. I know I did and I also know that I have slacked off a bit this past month on my nutrition, workouts and yes even the housework. :-)

So If you’re like me, now is the time to get back to business and start 2017 off with a bang.

I know the holidays can be a hard time for everyone.

We are all extremely busy with extra parties, celebrations, shopping etc. so it's easy to let our fitness and eating habits go by the way side.

Or many of you may have a very difficult time emotionally due to the loss of loved ones or loved ones suffering during this time.

So, the lack of will to remain active has been lost or maybe you have turned to some not so healthy comfort foods. Therefore, I want to reach out to you now and help you get back on track.

With the New Year there is new hope and new excitement for a fresh start.

If you are ready to lose the extra weight that may have been sneaking up on you and finally keep it   off    ...

...then read on because I have the answer!

First, I want to warn you...

Marketers and advertisers love to play on our desire for a quick and easy fix so be on the lookout for the crazy ads that come out without fail this time of year guaranteeing things like…

  • You can lose 20 lbs and get shredded in 10 days by taking some pill, drinking some special drink, or using some piece of equipment just 10 minutes a day.
  • Use some miracle herb or wrap yourself with something magical and just watch your unwanted fat just melt away without even having to exercise.
  • My favorites are the mysterious ones that tell you, you can transform your body in one week by eating their super foods. You will accelerate calories burned, burn belly fat and shed inches overnight.
  • Or how about this old add…
By Jenn Cook 03 Jan, 2017

...and now is a good time to reflect on the year before right?

It's time to take some inventory like:

  • Be happy this is not another election year!
  • What was new and exciting?
  • What did you accomplish?
  • What do you regret?
  • Who made a difference in your life?
  • Whose life did you help make a difference in?

There is a lot to think about and some of you may even be happy that the year is over.

So, with the new year there is new hope and new beginnings.  Also, it is the time to promise yourself to do and be a better you.

Are you making a New Year’s resolution this year?

Last year I guessed that for those of you that are, 1/3 of you wanted to lose weight. Well guess what? I am making that prediction again because according to a survey done by GoBanking Rates this was once again the #3 resolution in 2016. The #1 resolution was to enjoy life to the fullest and #2 was to live a healthier lifestyle (which was nice to see).

Unfortunately, the #1 resolution that will most likely be broken was still the same.  And that is to lose weight and get fit with eating healthier rounding out at #4 according to Time  magazine.

I was disheartened to see this once again.

When you really think about them they are so important!

We need to be healthy and fit to live a fulfilling and good life...

  • Who wants to spend their money and time going to the doctor for health issues?
  • Who wants to spend their hard-earned money on medicine to mask any pain issues you’re constantly suffering from? For that matter who wants to always be in pain?
  • Doesn’t it seem so simple to just take the time to take care of your body and continue to exercise and eat healthy through-out the year?
  • So, why do so many of us quit after just a few short weeks?

A lot of people would like to blame it on being lazy or a lack of self-discipline but I am here to tell you that is not it.

I truly want to help everyone make a change for the better in their lives so I am going to give you the #1 exercise that is guaranteed to get you the results you have always wanted and keep them!

I also have the #1 proven weight loss system for you but you will have to wait for my next blog for that secret!

So, here it is...

...find an activity you enjoy  doing and DO IT!

Then, do it again and again. Make it a part of your daily or weekly schedule. Put it in your calendar like you would for a doctor’s appointment so you must keep it.

Yes, it is that simple.

You don’t have to do some exercise routine you just hate or dread doing over and over. If you do this, over time I promise you, you are going to get bored and then stop. Not because you were lazy but because you hated doing it and got bored.

You can’t expect yourself to stick to something for a long time when you hate doing it.

You need to think of an activity that gets your whole body  moving and have FUN   while doing it.

If it has been a long time since you exercised, then think back to something you used to enjoy doing and start doing it.

If you are currently exercising but just haven’t reached your goal yet, then it is time to shake things up and try something new.

I’ll admit that I am blessed with the fact that I have loved to exercise my entire life.

I grew up watching my mother taking aerobic classes...

...remember Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda?

...and it just stuck with me as something I had fun doing.

But, I get bored doing the same stuff over and over. So, what do I do?

Try something different that I haven’t done before.

Now I am excited about working out and my body reaps the benefits of being challenged in a new way.

So, what are some new things you can try?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Try a piece of equipment you have never tried before
  2. Learn how to work with kettle-bells, ropes or medicine balls (it’s fun slamming these around especially if you’ve had a bad day)
  3. Speed walk in your favorite shopping mall or park
  4. Work with a fitness coach
  5. Take your dog for a hike
  6. Take a dance class or just go dancing at your favorite hangout
  7. Try the expresso bikes at EFC (one of my personal favorites, you can challenge other riders and see if you can beat their times or play games and try to kill dragonsJ )
  8. Try a group class at EFC whether it’s Ride, R30, Tribe, ZUMBA, Yoga or try one of our new Ignite group classes at the Sturbridge location.
  9. Play a game of football, hockey, soccer, tennis, golf, volleyball, horseshoes, corn hole or basketball with your friends, the list is endless
  10. Ski, sled, skate, swim
  11. Sign up for a road race or join a bowling league

 You get the picture, there is an endless list of things to pick from. Just get up and move!

This is so important!

You need to have fun and even be willing to accept help if you need it to get back on track or want to try something new.

If you want to try something new at the gym...

...ask for help, it’s ok!

You can’t expect to know how to do everything so ask a fitness coach for help.

Now you have someone who can guide you through the process and help keep you accountable.

Or maybe get a group of friends together to try a new group class or start a running/walking club.

I wish you all the best in your New Year’s resolution pursuits.

This is the year that it will stick because now you know the secret to success.

Have fun and start adding your fun activity to your appointment calendar. You need to make a point of making this activity a priority. Lastly, please accept help! That's why we are here...

You can contact me here at Everybodys Fitness Center for either location at jenn@efcfit.com  or go to our website at http://www.efcfit.com/contact-staff  where you can contact any staff member you want and ask any questions at all. Because remember….

“Nothing worth doing can be done alone.”

Remember to stay tuned for our next blog where you will learn the secret behind the #1 proven weight loss system...

By Jason Cook 26 Nov, 2016
Ok. So Thanksgiving just passed and some of us ate healthy while others of us decided to just enjoy the holiday with all it traditional food and desserts. Whichever you chose, its fine - BUT its time to get back on it! Here is a simple recipe for a Thanksgiving Sandwich that will keep the awesome flavors alive but help you with those much needed GAINS!

- 2 slices Ezekial Bread, toasted
- a good portion of roast Turkey (white or dark)
- a small portion of stuffing
- spinach, field greens or any other greens you enjoy
- 4 slices of avocado
- cranberry sauce (from a can hopefully! lol)

Smear some cranberry sauce on your bread and then layer the rest in there, put it together and enjoy! Its the day after Thanksgiving and we all feel a little stuffed. Start eating right now and get over to EFC and get your workout in.
By Jason Cook 17 Nov, 2016

Did you ever think I would send you a recipe for cookies?! While it may seem crazy that your favorite fitness professional is sending you a cookie recipe, just wait until you see the ingredients! Let’s just say that there’s zero guilt in enjoying one of these wholesome chocolate chip cookies – preferably while it’s still warm out of the oven.

The chocolate chips that I’ve used in the recipe below are sweetened with stevia – which is a natural, zero-calorie sweetener and can be found at your local health food market. By using these stevia-sweetened chocolate chips we are able to remove all of the refined sugar from the cookies, giving you a sweet morsel to enjoy while staying on track with your fitness goals. And with only 5 ingredients these delicious cookies are super easy to make. Enjoy!

Servings: 12

Here’s what you need...
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats ½ cup vanilla protein powder ¼ cup almond butter OR peanut butter ¼ cup stevia-sweetened chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Form 12 golf ball sized cookies out of the dough and press onto the parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden. Best enjoyed while still warm!
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 96 calories, 4g fat, 10mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 7g protein


By Jason Cook 11 Nov, 2016

Need a satisfying meal FAST? Here’s your new go-to power meal that’s ready in 5 minutes flat…

This recipe takes protein filled tuna and adds fresh ingredients to turn it into a healthy tuna salad. Unlike many tuna salad recipes, this one doesn’t call for dressings or mayonnaise that add undesirable fats. Have this for lunch or dinner, and keep it lean by skipping the bread and eating it straight from a bowl, or serve in an avocado boat.

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need...
  • 2 cans Albacore tuna, packed in water
  • 1/2 cup white bean hummus
  • 1 small apple, finely minced
  • 1 Tbl yellow onion, finely minced
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • dash of Pepper
  • 1 TBL Dijon mustard
  1. Drain and flake the tuna in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Serve in a bowl, on large lettuce leaves or in half of an avocado, garnish with dried dill weed.
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 188 calories, 5g fat, 563mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 21g protein

By Jason Cook 29 Oct, 2016

Craving pizza? Here’s a quick pizza recipe that is sure to satisfy even the strongest of pizza cravings. But don’t worry, this pizza is low carb and guilt-free so you can work it into your weekly meal plan.

The simple technique used to reduce the carbs and the guilt of this pizza is to replace the traditional (flour-based) crust with a protein rich, egg-based crust. By cooking the egg crust in a skillet and then transferring it to the oven it’s possible to create a crust that results in strong-enough-to-hold slices that the whole family will love!

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need...
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons half and half
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chunky tomato salsa
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, half and half, sea salt and black pepper.
  2. Over medium-high heat, generously grease a large oven-safe skillet with olive oil. Once the skillet is hot, pour in the egg mixture. Leave the eggs, untouched, for 3 minutes. Use a spatula to carefully lift one edge of the egg, then tilt the pan so that the remaining liquid egg on top runs under it. Do this in two places then allow the egg to sit for another 3 minutes.
  3. Place the skillet in the oven for 3 minutes. The egg crust will puff slightly and soft eggs on the top will firm. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven (the handle will be hot) and spread with the salsa. Top with the beans, bell pepper and cheese. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
  4. Remove the pizza from the oven, sprinkle with cilantro, slice and enjoy!
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 246 calories, 10g fat, 18g carbohydrate, 143mg sodium, 7g fiber, and 18g protein

By Jason Cook 19 Oct, 2016

Right now, I’m going to introduce you to a revolutionary new medical device...

It's been in Europe for over 18 years but fairly new to the US.

This machine improves blood flow by 29% in just 8 minute session. 

It's proven to help people sleep better and helps increase energy levels.

Boy we all need that right?

So you’re probably wondering, who is this guy and why should I care what he has to say.

Well, my name is Jason Cook and I’ve been in the fitness industry for over 20 years.

Man time sure does fly by.

I can honestly say that after all this time I’m more passionate about helping others than ever before.

So, four years ago I got some disturbing news.

At the age of 39, I learned I was a diabetic.

Imagine the shock I was in…

I’m not overweight and have no family history of diabetes at all.

Plus, I exercise faithfully and have all my life.

Needless to say, I fell into quite a funk for a bit.

Then one day I decided to sit down and research the disease.

I’m competitive so I thought, I can beat this thing.

Or at least be proactive for my kids and future grandkids, right?

After endless research, I found things but nothing really worked.

So here’s the deal…

About 7 months ago I met with a friend of mine.

She’s a long time fitness industry consultant and always on the cutting edge.

She told me about this newly registered FDA level 1 device that increases blood flow by 29%.

Immediately I thought yah right! Here we go. Another magical device that claims to heal.

But I trust her so much that I kept listening with an open mind.

She explained how increased general blood flow enhances nutritional uptake and oxygen supply.

It aids in metabolic waste disposal.

It improves your cardiac function.

It supports physical fitness, recovery and mental acuity.

And even influences stress reduction and quality of sleep.

By Jason Cook 10 Oct, 2016

Pumpkin is easily the most anticipated flavor of the season…and I’ve got you covered with this fun, fitness recipe for Pumpkin Protein Bonbons! This is hands down the most delicious and guilt-free way to get your pumpkin fix…

Make a batch of these high-protein treats and store them in the freezer for a delicious after-dinner treat.

Servings: 32

Here’s what you need...

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ cup almond butter, creamy
  • ¼ cup plus 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons liquid stevia
  • ½ cup dark, stevia-sweetened chocolate (Lily’s brand)
  1. Find a rimmed pan that will fit in your freezer and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine the coconut flour, vanilla protein, canned pumpkin, almond butter, ¼ cup of the coconut oil, vanilla extract and stevia. Mix well and if needed add another Tablespoon of coconut oil. Form into 32 balls.
  3. Place the balls on the prepared pan and put in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  4. In a double boiler, gently melt the dark chocolate and remaining coconut oil. Remove the pumpkin balls from the freezer and one-by-one roll in the melted chocolate. Return the coated balls to the freezer for 10 minutes. Drizzle any remaining chocolate over the tops of the bonbons in a nice design. Store in the freezer for up to a month and in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy!
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 120 calories, 7g fat, 6g carbohydrate, 2g sugar, 97mg sodium, 2g fiber, and 8g protein
By Jason Cook 01 Oct, 2016

Have you ever noticed how most of our favorite breakfast dishes center around a grain+gluten filled item? Breakfast is notoriously a high-carb, low protein meal, which sets you up for a day filled with poor food choices.

So, rather than go with the high-carb flow, start your day off with this Portobello Eggs Benedict – where a marinated and roasted Portobello mushroom cap is used to replace the English muffin. Think of it as a modern, fitness-friendly version of Eggs Benedict that will keep you on track with your results. Enjoy!

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need...

For the Marinade:
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon minced shallot
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
For the Creamy Mustard Sauce:
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chives, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon water
For the Benedicts:
  • 4 Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the marinade ingredients. Wash the mushrooms and remove the stems. Place the mushrooms in a ziplock bag with the marinade for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the mustard sauce ingredients. Mix until creamy then store in the fridge.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Place the marinated mushrooms on the pan and bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  4. In a large saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a simmer (not a boil!) Add the vinegar. One at a time, crack the eggs into a cup and gently slip into the water. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs.
  5. Plate each benedict by topping a Portobello with spinach, a poached egg and a dollop of creamy mustard sauce. Enjoy!
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 297 calories, 12g fat, 2g carbohydrate, 172mg sodium, 2g fiber, and 7g protein

By Jason Cook 14 Sep, 2016

A big salad peppered with fresh veggies is one of the healthiest things you can serve up for dinner. Here’s a new, tasty salad recipe to try…

The best salads are a cornucopia of fresh vegetables, with little added fat. This salad combines some of the garden’s tastiest veggies and is dressed lightly with no added oils. Serve with a side of lean protein for a healthy, vibrant meal.

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need...
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1 cup curly endive
  • 1 cup dandelion greens
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ⅛ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 packet Stevia
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon raspberry vinegar
  1. Place the eggs in a pan of water; bring to a simmer for 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Crack the eggs all over, and then place in a pan of cold water for one minute. Remove from water, peel, and slice. Set aside.
  2. Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 4 minutes. Rinse in cold water then set aside.
  3. In a large salad bowl combine the endive, dandelion greens, tomato, onion and pepper.
  4. In a small bowl combine the Stevia, lime juice, garlic, Dijon and vinegar. Mix well.
  5. Coat the salad with the dressing. Top with asparagus and sliced egg.
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 119 calories, 5.5 fat, 137mg sodium, 9g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, and 8g protein.

By Jason Cook 16 Aug, 2016

It’s grilling season filled with weekends and holidays spent outdoors with friends and family, sharing meals and good times. When it comes to grilling it’s just as easy to keep the menu lean as it is to make the menu fattening. The recipe that I have for you today is a prime example of a flavorful, lean chicken that is best eaten hot off the grill!

What you pair your grilled chicken with will make all of the difference as to whether or not your meal stays lean or becomes fattening. Avoid bread, potatoes and pastas - instead stick with grilled veggies, fresh green salads and fruit for dessert.

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need...
  • 1 ½ Cup Sake
  • ½ Cup Coconut Aminos (or light soy sauce)
  • ¼ Cup Coconut Palm Sugar (or pure maple syrup)
  • 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic- minced
  • 3 inch Piece of Ginger, thinly sliced
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 LBS Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs, trimmed
  1. Preheat the grill to medium high.
  2. Combine the sake, coconut aminos, coconut sugar, olive oil, garlic and ginger in a large ziplock bag. Generously salt and pepper the chicken thighs and add to the bag of marinade. Seal the bag and place in the fridge for 1 to 4 hours, turning once.
  3. Grill until the chicken thighs are cooked through. Enjoy!
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 493 calories, 10g fat, 9g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 56g protein.

By Jason Cook 13 Aug, 2016

Just because you gave up white bread and sugar doesn't mean that you can't enjoy a delicious plate of French Toast! This recipe is made with sprouted grain bread(Ezekiel is the most popular!), eggs and protein-packed Greek yogurt. The whole family will love it. Servings: 5

Here's what you need...

  • 5 slices cinnamon raisin, sprouted grain bread
  • 1 cup egg whites + 1 whole egg
  • 6 oz fat free, Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • Optional: additional fat free Greek yogurt and pomegranate seeds for topping.
  1. Preheat a skillet, or pancake griddle over medium high heat. Lightly coat with cooking spray.
  2. In a shallow bowl, whisk the whole egg and egg whites, yogurt, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Mix until well combined.
  3. Dip each slice of bread in the egg mixture, flipping to coat each side. I would let the bread sit in the mixture for about 2 minutes per side so it absorbs well. Place on the prepared skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, until the eggs set and turn golden.
  4. Serve immediately with the additional yogurt and pomegranate. Use a little real Maple Syrup if you want - it adds calories & sugar but its real and better than getting some fake crap!!
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 136 calories, 1 fat, 157mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 12g protein.

By Jason Cook 05 Jul, 2016

This recipe for Cheese-Stuffed Lettuce Wrapped Burgers gives you that burger taste and satisfaction that you love, without the downside of the bun. To make this burger even tastier, and to really make you forget about the bun, I placed a cube of fresh mozzarella cheese in the center of each patty – making every bite a cheesy, ooey-gooey experience.

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need...

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef - LEAN - about 90%
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • dash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4 oz mozzarella, cut into 4, 1-inch cubes
  • 1 head iceburg lettuce
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  1. Place the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat your grill to medium-high.
  3. Take the meat and divide the meat into 4 equally sized balls.
  4. Press a piece of mozzarella into the center of each ball of meat, and flatten into a patty. Make sure to keep the mozzarella fully covered on all sides.
  5. Sprinkle the Salt, Pepper, Onion, Garlic on both sides.
  6. put a dash of Worcestershire Sauce on the burger.
  7. Grill the patties for 4-5 minutes per side, until cooked to your desired doneness.
  8.  

Assemble the burgers with a large piece of lettuce, a slice of tomato and a spoonful of tender onions.

Alternatively I use Ezekiel English Muffins. Great protein, healthy carbs and awesome taste. Toast the muffins first. Then put the tomato, lettuce and onion on the burger and eat!

This was my version of the Burgers on Ezekiel. I opted for some low fat cheddar as opposed to the mozzarella inside.

Nutritional Analysis:One lettuce burger equals: 310 calories, 11g fat, 8g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 44g protein.

1 Ezekiel Muffin adds 160 calories, 1g fat, 30g carbohydrate, 8g protein and 6g fiber.

By Jason Cook 29 Jun, 2016

This delicious dish is made with cottage cheese, eggs, protein powder and almond flour and makes a low carb breakfast. Enjoy with a little bit of grass fed butter. 

Pancakes are a favorite breakfast indulgence, but this recipe is made with such wholesome ingredients that it’s possible to enjoy pancakes whenever the mood strikes you! Starting your day with a nutritious, filling and protein-packed meal like this one will keep you on track with your food choices all day long.

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need...
  • ½ cup high quality protein powder
  • ½ cup almond flour (or oats)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 10 drops liquid stevia (or half a banana)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • ½ cup low fat milk
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  1. Combine the protein powder, almond flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until fully combined.
  2. In a food processor combine the stevia, eggs, cottage cheese and milk. Add the dry ingredients and pulse to combine.
  3. Heat a pancake griddle over medium heat. Grease with the coconut oil, cook the batter by ¼ cup scoops until bubbles form, then flip and cook the other side until golden. Serve with grass fed butter. Enjoy!
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 311 calories, 12g fat, 11g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 37g protein.

By Jason Cook 17 Jun, 2016

This recipe for Turkey Meatballs with Pine Nuts is great to make on the weekend, to fill your fridge with healthy snacking options for the week. You could also make a batch of hard boiled eggs and slice some cucumbers while the meatballs bake. These healthy snacks are all low in carbs and sugar – the two things that your snacks should never contain. Taking control of your snack foods is key to getting on track with your fitness results.

Servings: 12

Here’s what you need...

  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup coconut cream, or half and half
  • 1 Tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.
  2. In a large bowl combine the almond flour, nutritional yeast, basil, cream, ketchup, tomato paste, salt, pepper, eggs, garlic, onion and pine nuts. Mix well until fully combined. Add the ground turkey and use your hands to mix all of the ingredients evenly into the meat.
  3. Shape the meat into golf ball shaped meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Enjoy!
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 277 calories, 17g fat, 6g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 27g protein.






By Jason Cook 02 Jun, 2016

It’s fajita time! This recipe is a wonderful option for a weekday dinner – it’s healthy, delicious and ready in 20 minutes. Serve with low fat toppings like salsa, chopped tomatoes, fat free sour cream or hot sauce.

Remember that all of that hard work that you put into your workouts can quickly and easily be lost on unhealthy eating – which is why it’s so important to enjoy light, protein-filled meals like this one.

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need...

  • 1 teaspoon Chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 uncooked chicken breasts (4oz each)
  • ½ green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Lime wedges for serving
  1. In a re-sealable bag, combine Chile powder, salt, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, cornstarch, and water. Add chicken, bell peppers, and onion; gently knead to coat. Refrigerate for 15 minutes
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet, empty the contents of the bag into the skillet and cook over high heat. Stir occasionally and cook until the vegetables are tender crisp and the chicken is cooked through, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice
  3. Transfer to serving dish and enjoy with lime wedges.
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 160 calories, 5g fat, 5g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 24g protein.

By Jason Cook 23 May, 2016

This recipe for Cajun Salmon is a simple and flavorful way to eat a lean dinner. The Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli are delicious enough to save the leftovers for a mid-afternoon snack! Start your healthy eating and cooking with these recipes.

Servings: 2

Here’s what you need…

Roasted Cauliflower & Broccoli:

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ½ lemon, juiced

Cajun Salmon:

  • 2 (4-oz) salmon fillets
  • 2 Tablespoons Cajun seasoning blend
  • ½ lemon, sliced
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet combine the cauliflower and broccoli florets with the olive oil, salt, black pepper and garlic. Roast for 20 minutes, until lightly charred. Toss with lemon juice.
  2. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Rub the salmon fillets with the Cajun seasoning. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, until flaky. Serve with lemon slices. Enjoy!
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 406 calories, 19g fat, 12g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 30g protein.




Recipe by Mike Romer

By Jason Cook 18 May, 2016

This stew is perfect for a chilly day. It is packed with antioxidant-rich vegetables and fragrant spices. Serve this stew over a scoop of cooked quinoa, whole grain brown rice or cauliflower rice.

Remember that the more often you eat healthy meals like this, the quicker you will stop craving unhealthy meals. Take it one day at a time and never give up!

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need...

  • 1 ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons water or vegetable stock, divided
  • 1 large size yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large size red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar or pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon saffron
  • 2 medium size sweet potatoes or garnet or jewel yams, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons water in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, peppers and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes. If the water begins to evaporate, add a little more.
  2. Stir in the agave nectar, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, ginger and saffron and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add sweet potatoes, and stir to coat. Stir in tomatoes, remaining 1 ½ cups water and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
  3. Simmer until sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then serve over quinoa or brown rice.
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 141 calories, 1g fat, 29g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, and 6g protein.

By Jason Cook 11 May, 2016

Want fish in a flash? This recipe offers a healthy and delicious serving of Flounder crusted with breadcrumbs and enhanced with citrus zest. Healthy recipes like this will please your taste buds while taking you one step closer to achieving your fitness goals.

All of that hard work that you put into your workouts can quickly and easily be lost on unhealthy eating – which is why it’s so important to enjoy light, protein-filled meals like this one.

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need...
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 6 (6 oz) skinless flounder fillets (1.5 inches thick, with bones removed)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  1. Preaheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine panko, butter, parsley and citrus zest until evenly mixed. Place the fillets on the prepared baking sheet. Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Top with the panko mixture, pressing it onto the fillets.
  3. Roast until the breadcrumbs are browned and the cod is fully cooked, about 10 minutes.
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 122 calories, 3.5g fat, 10g carbohydrate, .5g fiber, and 12g protein.



By Jason Cook 05 May, 2016

Ingredients
  • 1/2 lb flank steak or skirt steak
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tbsp each: garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, cumin and cayenne pepper.
  • 4 Food for Life Ezekial corn tortillas (or regular corn tortillas)
  • 4 tbsp guacamole
  • 4 tsp cotija cheese
Directions
  1. Marinate the steak with lime juice, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Grill steak to desired temperature.
  3. Let steak rest for 3 minutes and slice thinly against the grain.
  4. Assemble tacos with thinly sliced steak, 1 tbsp guacamole, and 1 tsp cotija cheese.
NUTRITION FACTS
Recipe yields 2 servings

Amount per serving
Calories 380 Total Fat 18.5 g Total Carb 29.5 g Protein 28 g

There you go guys. Simple...tasty and fun.

Happy Cinco De Mayo

By Jason Cook 03 May, 2016
Today I’m sharing a delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth. These
homemade protein bars are quick to make, about 20 minutes from start to end,
and they make a healthy on-the-go snack. You may want to make a double batch
and store extras in the freezer!

Don’t let your sweet tooth sabotage your results. Stick with high protein,
wholesome sweets like these homemade protein bars instead of processed,
sugary items.

Servings: 8 bars

Here’s what you need...

* 2 ½ cups oats
* ½ cup chocolate whey protein powder
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 2 tablespoons organic peanut butter
* 3 egg whites
* 2 mashed bananas
* 4 Tablespoons of Ground Flaxseed
* 4 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 4 tablespoons nonfat milk
* 3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat an 8x8 pan with non-stick
spray.
2. Mix the oats, protein powder and cinnamon. Add peanut butter and
stir until well combined. Add egg whites, bananas, honey, Coconut Oil and
milk.
3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake
for 15 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly
before cutting into 8 bars.

Nutritional Analysis: One bar equals: 195 calories, 13g healthy fats, 27g
carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 11g protein.
By Jason Cook 30 Apr, 2016

Today I’m sharing a healthy recipe with you that will please your taste buds while taking you one step closer to achieving your fitness goals. This chicken and veggie dish is light and delicious. Yogurt and curry flavors blend for an enjoyable new chicken experience. Enjoy it as a tasty lunch or a protein packed dinner.

All of that hard work that you put into your workouts can quickly and easily be lost on unhealthy eating – which is why it’s so important to enjoy light, protein-filled meals like this one.

Servings: 2

Here’s what you need...
  • 5 oz boneless raw chicken breast, diced
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 5 cups raw mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups China peas
  • 1 cup plain lowfat yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  1. Put 2 teaspoons olive oil and the diced chicken in a non-stick pan. Cook chicken until browned, then add chicken broth, yogurt, curry powder and cornstarch, stir constantly. Heat until thick sauce forms, then simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. While chicken is cooking put 2 teaspoons olive oil, mushrooms, bell peppers, and china peas in another non-stick pan. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Place an equal amount of vegetable on 2 plates and top with equal amounts of chicken.
Nutritional Analysis:373 calories, 13g fat, 35g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, and 32g protein.


recipe provided by my friend and recipe master Mike Romer

By Jason Cook 30 Apr, 2016

Gone are the days when tuna melts were laden with fat and served on slabs of bread with a pile of French fries – this recipe gives you all of that comforting taste with none of the fat. Oh and did I mention that it only takes a few minutes to make? Serve your healthy tuna melts up with a side of whole grain rice and steamed veggies for an all around winner of a meal.

Servings: 2

Here’s what you need...
  • 6 oz can of albacore tuna (in water), drained and flaked
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 Tablespoons oatmeal
  • 2 Tablespoons diced onion
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons low-fat shredded cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Blend all of the ingredients (not the cheese) in a bowl. Pre-heat a frying pan and coat with cooking spray. Form two patties.
  2. Cook one side until brown and then turn. When the second side is nearly done, sprinkle cheese over it.
Nutritional Analysis:138 calories, 2g fat, 4.5g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 25.5g protein



recipe provided by my friend and recipe master Mike Romer

By Jason Cook 30 Apr, 2016

Hey everyone...
The recipe today is pretty simple...right on point to fill you up and not kill your gains! This wrap is perfect to pack for lunch or makes a quick and healthy dinner. It’s ready in a flash, tastes amazing, and is filled with lean turkey, veggies and whole sprouted grains. Try it today, but don’t be surprised if you get hooked!

All of that hard work that you put into your workouts can quickly and easily be lost on unhealthy eating – which is why it’s so important to enjoy light, protein-filled meals like this one.

Servings: 1

Here’s what you need...
  • 1 sprouted grain tortilla, 6 inches (find these in Whole Foods, Trader Joes or the Freezer section of Stop & Shop - MASPETH!)
  • 1 Tablespoon low fat cream cheese
  • ¼ cup tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup lettuce roughly chopped
  • 3-4oz lean turkey slices or 3 - 4oz Roast Turkey pieces
  • dash of salt and pepper
  1. Spread a tablespoon of cream cheese evenly over one side of the tortilla.
  2. Arrange the turkey slices over the cream cheese and layer with tomatoes. Top with lettuce, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roll the tortilla closed.
  3. Cut in half and enjoy.
Nutritional Analysis:One serving equals: 228 calories, 6g fat, 21g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 21g protein.



recipe provided by my good friend Mike Romer

By Jason Cook 30 Apr, 2016
Here’s a simple recipe that makes a fast, healthy snack. The fresh pear, non-fat ricotta cheese and natural honey blend with great flavor and texture. It is also tasty with cracked black pepper instead of honey!

Remember to snack healthy! Avoid the vending machine and the fast food drive thru line! All of that hard work that you put into your workouts can quickly and easily be lost on unhealthy eating – which is why it’s so important to enjoy light, protein-filled meals like this one.

Servings: 1

Here’s what you need... •1 fresh pear, sliced
•¼ cup nonfat ricotta cheese
•1 teaspoon natural honey
1.Arrange the pear slices on a plate and spoon the ricotta cheese over the pears. Garnish with honey.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 197 calories, 0g fat, 34g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, and 6g protein.


recipe provided by my good friend Mike Romer
By Jason Cook 30 Apr, 2016

A healthy recipe that’s a great way to eat more spinach—and we all know how that turned out for Popeye :-) Frittatas make a great dinner, so don’t limit this as a breakfast food. The key to making a low fat, high protein frittata is to replace most of the eggs with egg whites, as this recipe calls for.

Servings: 4

Here’s what you need...
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 3 whole eggs, plus 4 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ sweet onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, minced
  • 2 red potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • ¼ cup shredded low fat mozzarella
  1. Preheat the broiler and position the rack about 4 inches from the top. In a large nonstick frying pan (with a flameproof handle, since this is going in the oven) heat ½ teaspoon of oil on medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until soft, about 1 minute. Stir in the spinach and cook until it is wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set the frying pan aside.
  2. In a bowl whisk together the eggs and egg whites, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Put the frying pan back on medium heat and add the remaining ½ teaspoon of oil. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper and potatoes and cook until the potatoes are browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Spread the potato mixture to an even layer in the pan. Spread the spinach over it, then pour the eggs on and sprinkle with the cheese. Cook until slightly set, about 3 minutes.
  5. Place the pan under the broiler until the frittata is browned and completely set, about 3 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.
Nutritional Analysis:176 calories, 6g fat, 16g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 12g protein.




  recipe provided by my good friend Mike Romer

By Jason Cook 29 Apr, 2016

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cups peeled and diced winter squash (kabocha, butternut, acorn, etc.)
  • 2 teaspoons dried herbs of choice
  • Salt and black pepper
  • ​6 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils (from 1 medium pomegranate)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage

For the dressing

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F, and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

Place squash on pan. Mist with cooking spray, and sprinkle on herbs, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast for 30 minutes.

While the squash cooks, combine the Brussels sprouts, pomegranate arils, walnuts and sage in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing, then season with salt and pepper.

Once the squash is ready, add it to the bowl with the rest of the salad. Drizzle the dressing on top, and toss to coat. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes to let flavors develop before serving.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 3|   Serving Size: 2 cups

Per serving:Calories: 333; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 53mg; Carbohydrate: 51g; Dietary Fiber: 13g; Sugar: 20g; Protein: 11g

Nutrition Bonus:Potassium: 692mg; Iron: 22%; Vitamin A: 328%; Vitamin C: 300%; Calcium: 17%



Recipe from Myfitnesspal.com

By Jenn Cook 29 Apr, 2016

This simple recipe is the perfect meal for a day when hunger strikes big time. It is packed with tender vegetables, filled with protein and can be made with chicken or as a vegetarian dish. Serve it with a salad for a quick and healthy meal that the whole family will love, and one that will satisfying your biggest craving for a hearty meal. 


Servings: 6  


Here’s what you need...

  • 2 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed (or 1 package firm tofu, drained and cubed)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 can lowfat chili
Ok, now that' you've got the ingredients ready, let's cook this dish in 4 easy steps!
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. In a large bowl combine all of the vegetables and chicken. Drizzle the olive oil and mix to coat. Add the thyme, salt and garlic powder.
    3. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet, and cover well with foil. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
    4. Remove the foil and turn on the broiler. Broil until the vegetables are nicely browned, about 8 minutes. Top each serving with a scoop of warmed chili.

          Nutritional Analysis: 230 calories, 4g fat, 28g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, and 20g protein. 



          recipe provided by my good friend Mike Romer

          By Jenn Cook 14 Apr, 2016

          First...

          ...let me start off by saying “Hello!”

          I know it has been a while since my last blog.

          I’ve missed communicating with all of you.

          But...

          ...just like everyone reading this right now...

          ...I am sure you have times when your life and/or household becomes a bit CRAZY.

          Well, it's time to grab the bull by the horns and get back to business.

          So recently I was going through a stressful moment…

          …and in that moment I thought of what I wanted to help everyone with in my next blog.

          It was a question I thought we as a society should really be focusing on.

          But before I get to the question let me give you my scenario.

          We adopted a new puppy at the end of last summer!

          She came from down south so her given name is “Pearl”.

          Well Pearl...

          ...has been a handful to say the least.

          But she is genuinely a very good dog who is trying to find her place in our household.

          Recently, we have hit a roadblock with her training as she now turns 1 year old next week.

          However, with the help of a wonderful dog trainer we are working on Pearl’s behaviors.

          It was during this morning’s training when I had an “ah ha” moment.

          When I write blogs or we try to find ways to help our community at Everybody’s Fitness Center we are always asking,


          “What are people struggling with when it comes to losing weight or reaching their fitness goals?”


          Of course we have to ask this because we need to know what you’re struggling with so we know how to help you.

          BUT we sometimes focus on the negatives to often!

          Just pick up a newspaper, (ok, ok ha-ha sorry that is just me. I still like to use paper and pen).

          I guess I should say...

          ...just read something in social media or watch the news on TV.

          You will see a majority of it is bad, sad, negative news.

          So how does this relate to training my dog?

          Well, the trainer taught us something so easy and obvious to help us.

          Instead of always yelling at Pearl for all the stuff she is doing wrong...

          ...(get off the counter, don’t jump on the refrigerator, don’t bite, drop the …. you name it she has it in her mouth!) 

          ...we have to reward her for all of the good, positive things she is doing.

          We have to cheer, clap and say “good girl” every time she is doing something we WANT her to do...

          ...like keep all four paws on the floor!

          The more we do this, the more good behavior we get out of her.

          So this made me think, instead of always focusing on your struggles with your fitness goals let me ask you…..

          • What was your #1 achievement today? 
          • What were your wins today?
          • What were you most proud of?

          It is too easy for us to focus on all the bad stuff, that you lose sight of what you actually did that was good today.

          There was a study done by Emmons and McCullough in 2003 that has become known as the Three Gratitudes .  

          In this study they asked people to think of 3 new things they were grateful every day for over a period of 21 days.

          This means every day they had to come up with 3 different things they were thankful for that happened to them in the last 24 hours.  

          At the end of the 21 days people who were categorized as pessimists became optimists.  And, it was proven that the participants experienced an increase in happiness and lowered their stress hormones!!

          All this just by being grateful for the good things they did, no medicine, just positive thoughts.

          Our brains function as a single processor and we are incredibly good at always focusing on the negative.

          This means that we then miss out on all the positives that happen to us during our routine days.

          When was the last time you stood around the coffee maker at work and discussed what an awesome morning you were having?

          I used to work in corporate America...

          ...and I clearly remember this being the time to hash out all of the bad things that have been going on in our lives.

          So now translate that into your fitness goals...

          ...and I bet that instead of giving yourself a pat on the back for doing a good job...

          ...90% of the time you focus on the one thing you struggled with each day.

          Well I am here to tell you that is was proven that...

          ...Gratitude is a game changer !

          And a change in your perception of things is only a single choice away.

          You can make up your mind right now that you are good enough!

          So, what I can’t believe I have never asked you is this….

          What are you grateful for?

          What did you do well at today?

          Start your own gratitude list today.

          This is very simple, I want you to write down 3 things you are grateful for that happened to you today and for the next 21 days.

          You can do whatever you want but I do have one rule, the items have to be different every single day.

          So, I have a 1 minute challenge for you…

          Right now I want you to reply to this message and send me 2 things:

          • What are your 3 gratitudes for today?
          • What is the #1 thing you are struggling with as it pertains to your health, fitness, nutrition or motivation?

          There are no right or wrong answers here.

          And yes I did ask for struggles as well.

          I still need to know what your #1 struggles are...

          ...so we can continue to provide you with the solutions you need and help you succeed with your fitness goals.

          So just take 1 minute, click “reply” and send the answers to me.

          Or just email me at jenn@efcfit.com I read every single email that comes to me.

          Thank you for taking this challenge and as always have a GREAT week!

          -Jenn

          P.S. - If you would like to share your gratitude with our community, you can visit EFC Gratitude and share.

          By Jenn Cook 12 Mar, 2016

          Maybe you can relate to a day like this...

          Your alarm clock goes off late cause the power went out last night.

          You look at the clock and begin to freak out.

          You're supposed to be at work in 10 minutes to give an important presentation to your boss.

          You jump out of bed, trip across the floor and stub your toe on your dresser.

          On your way to work you get stuck behind a slow driver.

          Walking into the office someone bumps you and your coffee spills all over your nice pressed shirt.

          GREAT!!

          Not only are you late for the big presentation but you now look like a slob with a big glaring coffee stain.

          You muddle thru the presentation and think well my day can only get better from here.

          Then your boss throws a big stack of work on your desk that needs to be done before you go home.  

          You skip lunch trying to finish everything when the phone rings and it’s the bill collectors again looking for your car payment.

          You promise to make a small payment as soon as possible.

          Then you look out the window and your car is being towed away.

          You get a ride home from a co-worker, walk thru the door to find “snow” all over your living room.

          Your cute and adorable dog has decided to use your couch as its new chew toy. REALLY?

          You have an awful headache, your heart is racing and won’t slow down.

          Plus that pain you have off and on in the back of your shoulders is coming back.

          You think, "my life stinks and the stress is going to kill me!"

          Then you grab a pint of your favorite ice-cream and sit down for supper. :-)

          By Jenn Cook 11 Feb, 2016

          That’s right!

          “Yoga is slow, boring and will never help me reach my fitness goals!”

          Those were the words I used to utter before I discovered through experience how wrong I was.

          I am a fitness professional.

          I used to think Yoga was slow, boring and would never help me reach my fitness goals.

          If you know me personally, then you can probably understand this.

          I’m always zipping around and pushing myself hard when I work out.

          I thought, “how the heck is Yoga ever going to benefit me?”

          Well, I’ve always had goals like:

          • Run Faster
          • Lift Heavier
          • Spin Quicker
          • Lose Fat
          • Just Do More

          So I would think to myself, where does Yoga fit into this?

          Well, I can tell you from firsthand experience, I was wrong to think this way.

          Thankfully I have learned from my mistake.

          I now practice Yoga on a weekly basis and have reaped the benefits.

          So, if you were like me and don’t think Yoga is for you, let me ask you this.

          Do you suffer from any of the following?

          • Stress
          • Anxiety
          • Chronic disease like heart disease or high blood pressure
          • Chronic pain
          • Depression
          • Arthritis Low bone density
          • Insomnia

          Or would you like to improve your:

          • Posture
          • Athletic performance
          • Flexibility and balance
          • Strength and conditioning

          If you answered yes to any of these then Yoga is definitely for you.

          By Jenn Cook 25 Jan, 2016

          Well here we are already almost a month into the new year.

          Can you believe it???

          Time sure does fly by with our busy schedules and this usually means that it's easy to lose track of our goals. 

          So, I wanted to revisit the topic of resolutions and see how you are doing with yours. 

          Making a new year’s resolution to lose weight or get fit can be easy, sticking to it is another story. 

          Getting started may seem easy in the beginning because you are excited to make some changes in your life. 

          Even if you read our previous blogs at the end of December and beginning of January about how to make your resolutions stick this year, life may trying to derail you right now.

          If you haven’t read them, here are the links to both... 

          The #1 Exercise This Year  to Make Sure You Hit Your Goal

          How to Hit Your New Year's Weight Loss Goal Guaranteed

          When I say life may be trying to derail you I mean things like:

          • The kids are constantly sick and you are running on very little sleep
          • Now you are sick and you have to stop working out already
          • Your close relative is going thru cancer treatment and you go to visit daily to help out
          • Your elderly parent needs your help with daily activities like driving to appointments, grocery shopping, cleaning etc.
          • You were just headed out the door to get a workout in when the phone rings, your pet has an accident, your car won’t start or you have a flat tire…..

          You get the point.

          Life happens to all of us and it can be easy to let it drag us off course.

          So let me ask you, why did you make that resolution in the first place.

          WHY?

          Why is it important for you to lose weight or become fit?   If our 'why' isn't big enough, we can more easily fall off course.

          Once you remember this I also want you to forgive yourself for falling off track. 

          Don’t beat yourself up. 

          This is the real world, not a reality TV show. 

          If you really want your resolutions to stick you need to plan on making small changes with your lifestyle regardless of what your resolution is. 

          If you jump in with both feet and want quick fixes or fast results they won’t stick. 

          You have to plan your resolutions around life, make them flexible.

          For instance...

          Car won’t start and you can’t get to the gym?

               OK, then do some body squats, push-ups and jumping jacks in your living room while you wait for AAA to come help.

          Stuck at the hospital with a sick friend? 

               Do some laps around the hallways to get some walking in.

          Only have 20 minutes at the gym instead of your usual hour? 

               No problem, do some intervals or a high intensity workout where 20 minutes is all you need anyways to burn some serious calories. 

          Not sure how to do this? 

          Yes again, not a problem.

          The coaches at Everybody’s Fitness Center are full of knowledge and can help you design one of these workouts in case of an emergency. 

          Whether you are a member or not just contact us here at   http://www.efcfit.com/personal-training  and let us know how we can help you.

          Remember,

          Aim for a little better instead of perfect!

          If you haven’t built your support system, you need to do it now.

          Time after time studies have shown that in order to be successful long term with losing weight, one of the best things to do is have a community around you that you are accountable to. 

          Whether you hire a coach or have friends and family or both, you need to have people around you to support you. 

          You are trying to create new habits in your life which can be difficult to do on your own. 

          Why? 

          Because habits are things you do automatically without thinking.

           So how the heck are you supposed to think about the things you don’t have to think about?

          All new habits need a trigger and a reward. 

          You need something to remind yourself to take a certain action and then another reminder to what a good job you did for taking this action.

          This is hard to do on your own!

          Even if you can trigger yourself to take the new action how many times have you given yourself a high five for doing it? 

          You must have that reward in order to make this new habit a habit! 

          So, you need people around you to help you learn new ways and encourage and reward you when you do it. 

          Whatever you can do to share the load of learning, planning, remembering, and rewarding will be one less thing you have to worry about.

          So if you are starting to wander off course of your resolutions...

          I want you to use this simple 4 step process:

          1. Remember why you made your resolution in the first place
          2. Plan for things to go wrong
          3. Start small – what is one little thing you can do today to help you prepare for success this year?
          4. Get your support team in place. 

          Need help with #4? 

          The experienced coaches at Everybody’s Fitness Center can and  want  to help you so contact us at  http://www.efcfit.com/personal-training

          In closing, as always, I wish you all the best and encourage you to email me at Jenn@efcfit.com with any questions. 

          I truly love hearing from and helping anyone I can!

          By Jenn Cook 15 Jan, 2016

          Have you always thought that working with a personal trainer was only for the rich and famous or professional athletes?

          Or have you ever thought that you are not “fit” enough to work with one? 

          Well I am here to let you know that EVERYBODY can benefit from working with a personal trainer .

          It doesn’t matter if you are:

          • New or an experienced exerciser
          • Young/Old
          • An athlete
          • Never played a sport in your life
          • Recovering from an injury
          • Or even just have aches & pains

          You CAN benefit from working with a trainer.

          Just read these comments from some of the members at Everybody’s Fitness Center:

          Joe C. says “Working with my personal trainer gives me two tremendous benefits: the honest assessment of my physical status from an expert perspective as well as the accountability to execute on that advice. Without both it’s easy to lose focus and avoid sustaining any real results.”


          W. D. says The original reason I started to work with an EFC coach was that I was afraid of getting hurt and I knew that if I got hurt I would simply stop going to the gym. That was almost four years ago now and I’ve been working with my trainer for more than 2 of those years.

          I’ve learned, especially since I met my EFC coach, that exercise doesn’t have to be painful or unpleasant. To the contrary, it is fun and honestly feels good. It's wonderful to learn what your body needs and what exercises your body reacts to through someone who has immense knowledge of fitness, nutrition and health.  It's like having a personal cheerleader who wants you to succeed, whether you're just looking for a good workout or working towards a certain goal. She knows when to get on me when I get lazy and also when to back off a bit when I’m not at my best. She is constantly in tune with my concerns and goals and adjusts workouts accordingly. We work on strength, endurance, flexibility and mobility. All in a one hour session. 

          It’s a unique relationship that I won’t voluntarily ever want to change.”


          Jennie S. say s I continue to benefit greatly from working with my EFC coach. Her  impressive knowledge of strength training, combined with her encouragement, great d emonstrations and instructions, and her endless patience, have enabled me to  achieve results that I didn't think possible.”


          Sue O. says “Based upon my own personal experience, I can’t say enough about working with a trainer, they truly empower you! They provide you the guidance and motivation to help strengthen and tone your body to its full potential. While too, helping to make it fun. I just completed my first 10k road race and could not have done it without her!”


          Do you see a theme here? 

          These members are having FUN , getting results, creating bonds, and learning what is best for their bodies. If this is not enough to sway you then here is a list of the benefits you will experience...

          Accountability & Motivation –  You have a set appointment with an expert who will be waiting for you with a smile and ready to get you moving. They will believe in you and help you develop your own personalized and achievable goals with a safe plan to get achieve them. The word “can’t” is not in a trainer’s vocabulary.

          Support – No matter what kind of day you are having your trainer will be there to support you and make sure you are headed in the right direction to achieve your goals. You never have to feel inadequate or worry about what people think of you as you walk thru the gym. Your trainer would NEVER judge you, they are there to help and support you. Your trainer will help you recognize all of your successes, big and small, even when you can’t see them yourself.

          Effective workouts – Trainers will be able to develop routines to maximize your time spent at the gym.  No matter where you are in your fitness level, trainers will develop a routine customized for you and push you to your own limits allowing you to burn more calories than you ever thought you could on your own.

          You will learn new ideas on health and fitness – With all of the information overload in social media, it is impossible to know what is good or bad for you or even which information is valid. It is the job of the personal trainer to stay on top of fitness trends and sort out the fluff from the real stuff that will be safe and effective for their clients. We are then able to pass on that information and educate our clients to help them develop a healthy lifestyle.

          Proper technique & form – Even if you watch you tube videos or read fitness magazines to learn new moves, this will NEVER substitute the benefit you receive when you have an expert right next to you to teach you the correct way to do the move. 

          Just because you see a popular move doesn’t mean you should even attempt to try it. Not every move was meant to be done by everybody. You may be doing something that will eventually cause you pain. A trainer will teach you the pros and cons of an exercise and teach you the correct way to do it. 

          They pay attention to you while you are exercising and can cue you to help you move better. They can also teach you things like how to improve your running pattern, how to improve posture and how to do an exercise better by making sure you are recruiting the proper muscles. 

          Did you know that you can do an exercise and not even being using the right muscle??

          Injury prevention and/or rehab – Trainers will teach you how to use all different equipment so you will not hurt yourself in the gym and will also work on areas like stability, mobility, flexibility and strength in order to help you avoid injuries in your activities of daily living. Or if you are injured a trainer will provide you with safe exercises to help you recover and develop a well-balanced routine.

          Sports/military specific – If you are an athlete, no matter what level you compete at (recreational to pro) or someone going into the military, police etc. academy a trainer can teach you safe and effective exercises to help you develop the agility, strength, speed and endurance that you need for your specific activity.

          Special Needs - Research confirms that individuals with health challenges such as diabetes, asthma, osteoporosis or heart disease benefit greatly from regular physical activity. These conditions, however, can make exercising safely a challenge. Many trainers are experienced in designing programs that address the special needs of these and other conditions.

          RESULTS – No matter what your fitness goal is whether it’s weight loss, to be able to run a Spartan race, marathon, and increase muscle mass or injury rehab. Working with a personal trainer will allow you to achieve greater results than if you worked by yourself. And now you have your own personal cheerleader and a new best friend!!

          If you are looking to work with a personal trainer or just want more information about working with one...

          You can take the first step right here:

          http://www.efcfit.com/personal-training

          Just provide your contact information so we can contact you to set up a time for you to meet with one of our trainers. 

          Or you can e-mail me directly with any question at all that you may have at jenn@efcfit.com.

          Happy Training!

          By Jenn Cook 24 Nov, 2015

            Yup. It's that time of year...
                                     

          Tis the season and gone are the hot summer days where we could get outside and be more active.

          Now there is a chill in the air and the sun is gone by 5:00pm leaving us inside more often and for some feeling a bit depressed.

          The Holidays are now upon us...

          For many of us this means less time to work out due to parties, holiday shopping, preparing for family gatherings, or visiting long lost relatives.

          So not only are you feeling guilty for not exercising, your willpower is probably being tested by some very delicious food choices that you know are not going to help you stay on track of your fitness goals.

          You know the ones...

          ...frosted cookies and brownies at the office...

          ...eggnog and gooey appetizers at your neighbor’s...

          ....chocolate candies left in small dishes everywhere you go.

          Now add (yes there is more) the fact that family and friends are probably encouraging you to eat that delicious food or have another beverage.


           You ever hear things like...?

          “Just have one! It won’t hurt.”

          “But it’s the holidays, come on live a little!”

          “Eat up we have so much food, you need to have more”

          “You can have just a little.”


          My goodness these are your friends and family, aren’t they supposed to help you and not sabotage your health? 

          Well they are most likely not trying to sabotage you but you will need to find ways to handle this pressure and not succumb to it.

          What is the harm in maybe going ahead and having that one piece or that one drink you ask? 

          So what if you gain a couple of pounds this time of year, it is the holidays. New Year’s is right around the corner when I will promise to start over with my diet and exercise routine you say.

          Well, I am here to inform you that is it a big deal and here's why!

          According to the National Institutes of Health , most Americans will never lose the weight they gain during the holiday season. Even those who have the best intentions to start a new diet on January 1st. 

          Unfortunately these excess pounds don’t disappear along with the holiday decorations when the holidays are over.  

          The pounds add up year after year making holiday weight gain an important factor in adult obesity. 

          And why even do this to yourself? 

          Why throw all of your hard work out the window and have to start over again? 

          You need to remember your “why” during this time of year. 

          • Why was the healthy eating and exercise so important to you the rest of the year? 
          • Shouldn’t that same reason be just as important now?

          Believe me, I know it is difficult to stay on track this time of year, even as a trainer I struggle with my own temptations. 

          Hey, we trainers are human too you know. :-)

          We struggle with food addictions, busy schedules, and health and injury setbacks too. 

          However, we do have some tricks up our sleeves to help ourselves and others find ways to stay on track during the holiday season.

          I want this year to be the year you get thru the holidays without falling into the weight gain trap and feel good about it!! 


          So here are some proven tips to help you avoid the holiday weight gain….


          1. Never Arrive Hungry – Don’t go to a party starving, you are just setting yourself up for binge eating, even if you have all the best intentions of not cheating on your diet. Plan ahead and make sure you have some healthy snacks before you arrive. Not able to do this, then drink a glass of water before you fill your plate.

          2. Avoid Saving Calories – This ties in with #1, if you plan on cutting back your calories all day so you can indulge at some event in the evening all this does is set you up to pig out. You are starving right now so it will be very easy to get out of control when you are faced with all of those high calorie food choices.

          3. Role play – If you are headed to an outing where you know Grandma will keep telling you to have another piece of pie because you need to fatten up those adorable cheeks of yours. Or if you are going to a party where you know your friends are going to keep telling you to have another beer or eggnog or whatever your specialty drink may be then you need to be prepared. Role play and plan how you will respond to people when they ask why you are on a diet or why you are only having one drink tonight. For my sports fans out there – Defense is your best offense! (sorry the soccer/basketball/football mom in me had to say that)

          4. How to respond to those pushy people – When those people in #3 won’t stop and your role playing is not helping and you feel yourself ready to cave in, try using values in your response to those who just won’t let it go. When they say “one little one won’t hurt you” then you respond with “But I may not be able to stop at just one and I am trying to do this for myself” or “No thanks, I’m trying to be a better me.” And most important remember it is ok to just say “NO!” even to grandma and her pies and cookies. You are not hurting her you are helping yourself and a gentle reminder to Grandma should help her understand, she loves you!

          5. Turn your back on temptation – Literally, I mean it, face away from the foods that are straight in front of you and just taunting you by calling your name. Turn your back to them and focus on the real reason you are at this holiday event. You are there to celebrate with friends and family, so spend time talking to them or playing party games. This way you take your mind off of that food and get to enjoy the company you are with.

          6. Eat and Chew S-L-O-W-L-Y – The quicker you eat the less time your brain has to even know that you were probably full about 4 cookies ago. So take your time and enjoy the food you are eating. Even try putting your fork or spoon down in between bites and breathe and relax.

          7. Wait before you go grab seconds – We are always in such a rush now a days so after you just slowly ate your food (if you skipped #6, you don’t know what I mean so please go back and read #6, I will wait… Ok, welcome back, let’s continue) wait 20 minutes before you have seconds or head to the dessert table. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you ate and may be full and really don’t need seconds.

          8. Start your day with exercise – Even if you don’t have as much time as usual for your workouts, try to get at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise in. (You can check out Everybodys Fitness Center’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/efcfit for some quick workouts that will be sure to kick your butt in no time.) It has been shown in a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise that by exercising in the morning you help ensure better behavior all day long and are apt to move more during the day as well as be less tempted to eat those high calorie foods.

          9. Be Smarter than the Buffet – Use a smaller plate like a salad plate (8 – 10 inches) and not the new size plates that are 12 inches or more when heading to the buffet table. Sadly, these larger plates are so common we think this is a normal serving of food, but it isn’t. Then no cheating when you stack that smaller plate, don’t add 3 stories to your one story plate. Start with simple foods too like fresh fruits and vegetables or even shrimp cocktail. Stay away from heavy/creamy sauces and dips.

          10. Pick a protein – Protein can help maintain a healthy weight because it is associated with satiety and you have the bonus benefit of it being important for healthy muscle growth. However, make sure you stick to protein sources that have less legs, think fish and poultry not our 4 legged friends the pig and cow. If you are a vegetarian then stick to quinoa, lentils or beans.

          11. Limit Alcohol – Drinking too much alcohol is a double edge sword. Not only are you consuming a ton of extra empty calories in your choice of beverage  you are now losing your control over what foods you eat and how much. If you feel out of place without a drink in hand then sip on some club soda or just plain water and add a slice of fruit in it.

          12. Cave into your cravings – Wait what??? Yes, you need to cave once in a while, not every day but yes again once in a while. If you continuously fight the urge to eat that chocolate, cookie, pie, cake, whatever your favorite is (mine this time of year are frosted sugar cookies, monkey bread and of course I have to give a shout out to my Aunt Ann’s famous Apple pie! It is the best around!!) then one day you may lose control like a kid in a candy store with no parents around. The key to this though is MODERATION!!! Grab that small plate, put ONE piece of your favorite food on it then walk away and eat it slowly while you talk to your friends. This will help curb that craving and save you from falling off the wagon and pigging out.

          13. Bring your own treats – Bring your own healthy dessert that you know you enjoy to the party and eat that instead of any of the more fattening options that are there.

          14. Limit tasting while cooking – If you are doing the cooking and/or baking this year make sure to reign in all of those “taste tests”. All of those “tests” add up to a lot of extra calories.

          15. Send it all away – If you are hosting a gathering make sure to send all of your guests home with food-filled Tupperware or some sort of doggie bag. The leftovers the next day will do you in as it just keeps tempting you to eat all of that high calorie food when you normally wouldn’t even have it in your house. If guests won’t take enough of it home then you can always wrap it up and freeze it right away. Then just take out a little bit at a time. Studies show that when food is out of sight you are less likely to reach for a second helping.

          16. Sleep – Make sure you are getting a good solid 7 – 8 hours of sleep because sleep loss has been linked to changes in appetite and usually not for the better. So turn off all of your electronics at night or at least keep them out of your bedroom and get a good nights sleep.

          17. Move it and lose it – Make a conscious effort to get more steps in during the day. If you can’t get your regular exercise routines in or if you don’t exercise at all, at least start moving more throughout the day. I always tell my clients to take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Park in the furthest parking spot to whatever store you are going to. The bonus for this one is you won’t have to fight with all the crazy holiday shoppers fighting for the close parking spots. Or better yet, make a new family holiday tradition and go for a walk or hike around the neighborhood together after dinner. This used to be one of my favorite traditions with my family as a kid. I still remember walking to the nearby park to a huge tree that had U shaped opening on the bottom where I was told Winnie the Pooh lived. Sometimes if I was lucky enough Pooh Bear would leave me a note. Now how great of a memory is that!? We created great memories and helped burn some extra calories by taking a walk together.

          18. Stay positive – If you break down and indulge a little don’t punish yourself. We all have our moments so remember you are not alone. Instead, look at the positive, if you just had a slice of cake instead of the whole thing when you really wanted to eat the entire cake, then good for you! If you berate yourself it will be too easy to continue in that downhill spiral and just give up on trying to be good and just continue to indulge. Stay positive so you feel good about yourself which results in better/healthier choices, which you guessed it results in no weight gain. Even if it feels silly still try telling yourself at least one positive affirmation every day.

           

          So there you have it!

          18 proven ways to help keep the holiday weight gain off. 

          If you feel you need more help or more ideas to get you through this next month or so you can contact us at http://www.efcfit.com/take-it-off-weight-loss-program   just go to this link and enter your contact info. 

          It's that easy...

          We will contact you to set up a time that is convenient for you and you can sit down one on one with a weight loss coach to discuss your weight loss struggles and strategize how we can help you through this challenging time of year.

          I wish you the very best and hope you are able to use these tips to make this the best Holiday season ever.

           

                                                                       Happy Holidays to you and your Family!!!

          By Jenn Cook 10 Nov, 2015

          Unless you are lucky enough to live in a peaceful log cabin somewhere with no electronics and no newspapers or news source of any kind, I would have to bet that you have heard of the obesity epidemic that not only the United States faces but the entire world. 

          There are some pretty scary numbers being thrown around in the news about the rising number of chronic illnesses out there and the affect this has on our nation’s health care system and economy. 

          What is really unnerving though is the increase in obesity levels AND health issues facing our children today.

          Notice the AND in that last sentence?

          The fact is that you can and may very well have a skinny and unhealthy child. 

          Unfortunately...

          ...obesity should not be the only concern we have when dealing with the health of our children. 

          If your children are grown adults now, then think of your grandchildren.

          Or if you never had kids then think of your future because the health of generation Z (yes we are at the end of the alphabet folks and this generation was born between 1995-2012) WILL affect it.

          First, let’s review some numbers regarding childhood obesity taken from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

          • Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children in the past 30 years
          • The percentage of children aged 6-11 years in the U.S who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012 and similarly the percentage of adolescents aged 12 – 19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 21% over the same time period
          • In 2012, more than 1/3 of children and adolescents were overweight or obese

          These numbers are not good considering the fact that, again according to the CDC, obesity has both immediate and long-term effects on the health and well-being of these kids. The immediate effects being:

          • Increased risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure
          • Pre-diabetes
          • Greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem

          Not scary enough? Maybe this will scare you and let me remind you that we are talking about kids here, not adults. The long term effects are:

          • Increased risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and osteoarthritis
          • Increased risk for many types of cancer including breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder, thyroid, ovary, cervix and prostate

          Ok, now that I have grabbed your attention, I want you to guess what the other big health issue is facing our kids........


          INACTIVITY!!! 

          By Jenn Cook 18 Oct, 2015

          What if you could get the same health benefits in 98.75% less time than you are now by HIITing?

          Well the truth is you can and I'm going to prove it to you right now.

          What?  You want us to go and hit something?!?!

          No, of course we don’t, but you do want to improve your fitness level and live a long and healthy life, don't you?

          Well, an excellent way way to do that is to incorporate HIIT into your exercise regimen, which stands for:

          H igh -Intensity Interval Training

          For years sports, and strength and conditioning coaches have been using this style of training for their athletes while the rest of us bought into the media frenzy that the only way to burn fat was to do long bouts of steady state cardio. 

          All the while the athletes were getting stronger and improving their fitness levels tenfold in a much shorter period of time while the rest of us may have hit a plateau in our fitness goals. 

          Or worse yet...

          started to lose some muscle mass. 

          Luckily, HIIT has spread like wildfire among the rest of the training community allowing people of all levels to benefit from its greatness.

          So what is this secret sauce you ask?? 

          Let’s find out.

          HIIT(high-intensity interval training) or just interval training, very simply stated is a method of training where you repeat bouts of high intensity work with varied recovery times. 

          The work periods could range from as little as 15 seconds up to 5 minutes and the rest or recovery time may equal your work time or may be a bit longer...

          ...I'll get to that in just a minute.

          But first let’s get into the awesome benefits of HIIT.

          According to the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), HIIT has been shown to improve:

          • Blood pressure
          • Cardiovascular health
          • Cholesterol profiles
          • Abdominal fat and body weight while maintaining muscle mass
          • Insulin sensitivity which helps the exercising muscles more readily use glucose for fuel to make energy
          • Aerobic and anaerobic fitness

          Also, you get a tremendous aerobic workout without the boredom of a long steady state cardio routine. 

          You can switch out one or two of your long cardio days with a HIIT routine and gain the same if not better results. 

          Well known Strength and Conditioning coach Michael Boyle has trained many well-known teams like the Boston Bruins, Red Sox and Boston college athletes using HIIT. 

          While training the U.S. Women’s Olympic Ice Hockey team Boyle has been quoted to say he saw:

          "I saw superior results in both their fitness and fat loss by using HIIT"

          Still Not Convinced? 

          Well there were two well-known studies done on HIIT training and both had staggering results showing just how beneficial HIIT is.

          One of the studies was done in Canada at McMaster University and is usually referenced as the Gibala Study after lead researcher Martin Gibala. 

          In this study they compared High Intensity Interval Training HIIT with steady state cardio in the target heart rate zone.

          For the HIIT, they did 20 minutes of high intensity interval training, consisting of a 30 second sprint followed by a four minute rest

          And for the steady state cardio, they did 90 to 120 minutes in the target heart rate zone.

          The result was amazing!  

          Subjects got the same improvement in oxygen utilization from both programs. 

          What is more amazing is that the 20 minute program only requires about 2 minutes and 30 seconds of actual work... 

          ...compared to 120 minutes of steady state cardio! 

          I don’t know about you but I would take the 2 min.s and 30 seconds of work over a long drawn out 120 minutes and be able to get the same benefits. 

          And an added bonus is now my body (meaning my joints) does not have to take a huge beating and become over trained which then results in injury.

          The other study done, which has become known as the Tabata study, again shows the extreme benefits of interval training. 

          Tabata compared moderate intensity endurance training at about 70 percent of VO2 max to high intensity intervals done at 170 percent of VO2 max. 

          Tabata used a unique protocol of 20 seconds work to 10 seconds rest done in seven to eight bouts. 

          This was basically a series of 20 second intervals performed during a four minute span. 

          Again, the results were nothing short of amazing!

          The 20/10 protocol improved the VO2 max and the anaerobic capabilities more than the steady state program.

          To summarize, what studies have shown is that HIIT workouts provide similar if not better fitness benefits as continuous steady state aka endurance workouts but in shorter periods of time. 

          And because you are working in shorter bouts you do not start losing muscle mass like you do during long bouts of endurance work.  How nice is that?  :)

          Now how do you know which rest to work ratio to use?

          The most common work range is between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. 

          During this time you are working at a level that will increase your heart rate to about 80 – 95% of your max heart rate. 

          If you are just starting out then you want to hang around 80% and work your way up.

          Your recovery time during these bouts of work will vary depending on the method you are using. 

          There are 2 common methods to use when determining your rest to work ratio.

          The first method is just using a basic rest to work ratio like 3:1, 2:1 or 1:1. 

          This means for the first ratio of 3:1 that you work for a certain amount of time and then your rest time will be triple the work time. 

          So if you worked for 15 seconds you would rest for 45 seconds, or if you worked for 20 seconds then you rest for 60 seconds. 

          This is a good ratio to start with if you have never done HIIT before. 

          Then you can work your way up to 2:1 in which you double your work time for rest, ex, you work 30 seconds and rest for 60 seconds. 

          Then the 1:1 ratio is your rest time equals your work time. Work 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds.

          The second method is considered by some experts to be the best way to perform HIIT. 

          With this method you use your heart rate to determine your rest period. 

          You will need to wear a heart rate monitor so if you have one it’s time to dust it off and use it!!! 

          This method is more beneficial because you are not using a random rest period, you are using the proper time it takes for your body to recover after you have performed the predetermined work interval. 

          As you become more conditioned you will actually need less time to recover and thus will be able to push yourself even more. 

          Which then means you will always be improving your fitness level. 

          Again, NICE!!

          On the other end of the spectrum using your heart rate is also great when you are first starting out because your recovery time will be a little bit longer which is appropriate for your fitness level and so you will be training in a safe and proper manner. 

          If you track your times you will notice your recovery time decrease over time which will be proof that you are becoming more conditioned and will know that it is time to push a little more.

          So an example of the heart rate method for a conditioned person could be as follows:

                      Interval 1 – work 60 seconds, rest 45 seconds

                      Interval 2 – work 60 seconds, rest 60 seconds

                      Interval 3 – work 60 seconds, rest 75 seconds

                      Interval 4 - work 60 seconds, rest 90 seconds

          You can see that this person did not need to rest as long during the first 3 intervals so had they used the traditional rest to work method it would not have been as effective for this person as they would have been resting for to long. 

          Now the reverse would be true for someone just starting out, they would have needed a longer time to recover and so if they used a random rest to work ratio they may not have enough time to fully recover between intervals. 

          So by using the heart rate method you can safely participate in a HIIT program no matter what age, gender, or fitness level you are at.

          Interval Training Modes

          There are numerous ways to get your interval training in so what is the most important question to consider when choosing what to do? ……. 

          Is it fun to you? 

          Yes, you want to have fun with this so you will look forward to your workouts and stick with it. 

          Here 7 ideas you can use right away…

          1. Take a HIIT class
          2. Run outside on a track
          3. Run inside on treadmill
          4. Stationary bike
          5. Slide board
          6. Ropes
          7. High knees, jumping jacks, burpees, squat jumps, lunge jumps, ski jumps, etc.

          If you are not quite sure where to start with a HIIT program an excellent resource for you is the HIIT classes taking place at the Sturbridge location for Everybodys Fitness Center. 

          You will learn all kinds of ways to push yourself under the watchful eye of a trained and certified coach. 

          Also, you can seek out the expertise of a certified personal trainer and work one on one with a coach if you do not like the class atmosphere.

          If you are interested in participating in the HIIT class at EFC in Sturbridge we would like to invite you to try a class for FREE so you can get an idea of what HIIT is really all about. 

          In order to take advantage of this all you have to do is either call us at 508-347-3100 or email us at info@efcfit.com and mention that you read this blog and want to take advantage of the FREE trial HIIT class